Choreographer Terence Lewis feels Bollywood dance-based films lack originality and look like a mere copy of their Hollywood counterparts.
Terence says it is okay to look at the West for inspiration when it comes to technicalities, but aping their dance forms is not done.
“Bollywood dance films look completely borrowed from Hollywood. Even the terminology ‘Bollywood’ sounds like a copy. We can look at the West for their brilliant technology in films, their production values, but why copy the dancing style?” Terence told PTI.
Incidently, Terence’s co-judge from his Dance India Dance days, Remo D’Souza has also directed two such films. ABCD and ABCD 2 were both huge hits and showcased mostly the western form of dancing as is seen in the Step Up franchise.
The 41-year-old choreographer hails the 1986 film Naache Mayuri as a movie, which showed Indian dancing style while telling a great story.
“Sometimes their (Hollywood’s) script is bad but production value is great. In our case, both is bad. There is no originality in our dance films, there is no story of India and our dance forms... Whatever I have seen, they have been typically copied from Hollywood.”
He is currently seen as a judge on the Indian version of American dance reality series So You Think You Can Dance.
Terence, who has choreographed for films like Lagaan and Jhankaar Beats, says Bollywood films should incorporate various dance forms shown on reality shows.
“Yes absolutely. But the thing is, the artists will need time to learn various dance forms while these kids have been doing it for years. Bollywood is very ‘jugaadu’ (in choreography), it runs on star power and nobody is evaluating you.”
“But in TV, you have to be correct, you are being judged and you can’t fool. So that major difference is there.”
The choreographer is happy with the way the &TV show has turned out and for that he credits the lack of “melodrama”, which reality shows often succumb to.
“Our main focus is only on dance and not drama. Sure there are jokes and fun but we don’t focus on melodrama, or sell a poor guy’s story. There is no space for emotional ‘atyachaar’ here and hence it is working. Dance is the only DNA of the show.”
According to Terence, today, contestants are exposed to various dance forms and that has improved their dancing style.
“The quality of dancing has gone up tremendously. Now, nobody is just dependent on their ‘guru’, people are updated about various dance forms, they have exposure to the world and they have set a higher benchmark for themselves,” he added.
The show also features actress Madhuri Dixit and Bosco Martis as judges.
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