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India’s first street dance show goes on air

tv Updated: May 24, 2010 13:33 IST
Nikhil Taneja
Nikhil Taneja
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Over the last few years, there’s been an overload of singing and dancing reality shows, each promising to be ‘different’ from the other. But eventually, they all turn out to be the same package, with different contestants. But here’s a real ‘different’ dance show.

Street Dance, UTV Bindass’ new reality show, will literally take to the streets in search of India’s first street dancer who can drop some jaws with urban dance styles like B-boying, hip-hop, locking and popping, floating, krumping, liquid popping, Bollywood freestyle and clowning.

Street culture picks up says Nikhil Gandhi, Business Head, UTV Bindass, “Street culture in India has definitely picked up over the last decade. Youngsters today have grown up biking, doing stunts, and street dancing is also catching on slowly. We want to give an opportunity to the young talent. We are going down to the streets, malls, colleges and getting people to dance.”

In the first season of the show, the channel will head to the metros and explore street cultures there, before checking out the smaller towns at a later stage. And in an effort to make it urban and cool, it will be audience-interactive, featuring live chats in a ticker format.

Professional guidance
One of India’s best-known choreographers, Shiamak Davar’s dance school, the Shiamak Davar Institute of Performing Arts, is helping the show with the selection, which is already underway.

The winner of the show will also get a one-year scholarship to the academy. Davar himself will come on to the show in its last leg, as a mentor to the eight finalists. Says Davar, “As a mentor on the show, I would be picking one wild card entry, who I believe is worthy of making an entry straight into the finals. I would also be mentoring the finalists by giving them tips on how to make their finale acts rock.”

The choreographer, who’s been a judge on dance-based reality shows earlier too, doesn’t believe that the non-organised nature of the dance makes it difficult to judge. “At the end of the day, a person who knows dance can identify a good performance versus a not-so-good one. For me, any performance is good or bad based on two key factors — the use of correct technique and the attitude with which the style is performed.”

Davar is especially excited about this new culture, which he believes is in the “evolutionary stage” right now. “These dance styles are becoming so popular that the number of students opting to learn these forms is growing phenomenally,” he says. “I personally love all these styles too! The kind of energy and vibrancy they have is totally mind-blowing.”

Hip hop is catching on
When asked what’s taken this form of dancing so long to catch on in India, Davar feels it’s because we weren’t open to western dance forms in the past. “When I started out 25 years ago, there was not a single school teaching western dance styles,” he reveals.

“However, the recent rise of hip-hop culture in our country, has led to street style dancing making inroads here. It is getting acceptance and following in India.”

Catch Street Dance on UTV Bindass from Monday to Wednesday at 8 pm