Happy Feet


Dancers and choreographers are moving to a whole new tune even as movie-making gets increasingly professional


Like every other department, a lot has changed in choreography. From having fixed background dancers, and those who were a little older, to having youngsters as background dancers today. Most importantly, dancers have changed; these kids learn dancing and are professional dancers.


Another thing that has changed is music. Earlier, the tunes were different and today you have music according to script. Today, you have different kinds of music, like jazz, classical or whatever you say, and one can choreograph the song depending on the music.


The way people treat other professionals has also undergone a sea change. When I started working as a dancer, we couldn’t stand, sit or even chat with the leading actors, directors or even choreographers. But today, it’s different. Today, dancers talk with actors and they share a cordial bond. In my film ABCD 2, every dancer became good friends with both Varun Dhawan and Shraddha Kapoor.


Today, cinema is not restricted to a certain audience; the director has to think worldwide while making a film. His content has to work universally, so cinema and scripts have changed. You cannot make a film that audiences have watched earlier; one has to be very different in terms of story and vision.


A major change in our industry is that today everyone is welcome. If one has talent, one can survive in this industry. Your talent and hard work will take you to places. One does not have to have a film background or have contacts in the industry.


New actors also add a lot to the betterment and change that is sweeping across the industry. They are very open to suggestion and improvisation from everyone. Gone are the days when a song used to be shot in 10-20 days; today every actor is almost a dancer as they learn the craft before starting their careers. So no one randomly ends up an actor.


If you look at today’s films, we don’t have lip-sync songs. Some are background scores and then there are songs which demand that you choreograph steps. No one forces a dance number if it doesn’t fit a film. Yes, there are songs for promotional purposes but they don’t fit the film, they are usually used at the end. So music and dance have changed a lot. I think it’s all because we have new directors and actors working together and they want to

make realistic cinema.


Earlier, there were only a few actors who could dance well and were known for their dance numbers like Govinda. But, today, from Varun Dhawan, to Ranveer Singh, to Ranbir Kapoor to Tiger Shroff, everyone dances very well.


Another major change is in the area of payment. Earlier, I did so many films free of cost as I was never paid for them. The payment structure has since changed and everyone is paid on time now.


Also, there was a time when this field was not looked upon as a career. Today, even kids look out to make a career in dancing, and it makes me very proud. I give credit for this to the dance reality shows, which have become very popular. Today, the youth look at dance as a career choice and are trained from childhood. And we have such amazing talent across the country.


So a lot has changed in the industry with corporate culture coming in. Just as every actor preps before doing a film, they also prep for dance. Also, an actor doesn’t look at an actor’s last release; they look forward to a good script. It doesn’t matter if your last film worked with the audience or not; what you bring now is what matters.


– Changes he’s seen over the years, Remo D’Souza, choreographer-director

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