The new year has kicked off with the first of a new batch of reality shows — the latest season of Zee’s Dance India Dance (DID). This time round, it’s called DID Doubles as it features duos instead of individual dancers (and not necessarily a couple, as in a girl and a boy). So far we’re just getting to watch the auditions, which means seeing very long (and I mean very long) straggling lines of exhaustingly enthusiastic aspiring dancers at all the various audition venues (Mumbai, Delhi etc etc).
Inside the venues, the three judges — Geeta Doctor, Rajeev Surti and Marzi Pestonji (I do hope I’ve got the names right) — sat in, well, judgement over the young hopefuls. All three were mostly quite kind and appreciative. But frankly, I don’t see what else they could have possibly been, considering the caliber of the dancing (most of it, that is; I’m not including those routines where young men with kajal-lined eyes pouted and swung their hips to chartbusters like ‘Kajarare kajarare’ — enough to make even the most stolid and stoic blanch). For a start, this is not dancing as most of us know it. This is not something as simple as moving gracefully and rhythmically to music. Unless you can lift your partner with your little finger, twirl her around as if she were a paper streamer, wrap her around your head five times, slide her under your legs, pick her up again and balance her on your kneecap, you can’t really say you’re a dancer. I thought I was watching an acrobatics show; the next instant it seemed more like a circus performance. At any rate, one thing was clear — the dancers were all scientific marvels because none of them seemed to have any bones in their body that I could make out. Maybe they had elastic instead. Or rubber bands. Or coiled springs.
I’m looking forward to future episodes with some trepidation — who knows what I might see next? Someone twisting his partner so that she resembles an elegant version of the figure of eight?
I also caught the Shah Rukh Khan episode of Koffee With Karan (Star World). Unlike the other episodes, where there are always at least two guests, SRK came alone. In the beginning, the show was uncharacteristically mellow and reflective, with Shah Rukh talking about his inability to make or retain friends and Karan listening quietly. There were even a few emotional moments with Karan flicking away some fugitive tears. Towards the end, things pepped up a bit and we saw flashes of Shah Rukh’s famed sense of humour and bright wit (boy, is that a change from the endless giggling when the women are on).
I also caught the final episodes of Masterchef India (Star Plus) and Sa Re Ga Ma Singing Superstar (Zee). The Masterchef winner was Pankaj Bhadouria from Lucknow (and that’s a lady, by the way). The episode, though prolonged — as all finales are wont to be; if channels were to stretch announcing the winners by a few minutes more, viewers would fall asleep out of sheer fatigue/irritation — was better than many of the previous ones, specially the early episodes, where all the participants had cried more than they had cooked.
The Sa Re Ga Ma finale was packed with performances by all the participants and judges, many of which were quite enjoyable. But while the show appeared to have the right amounts of glamour and razzmatazz, there was an elusive tackiness about it. The winner — Kamal Khan of the amazingly versatile voice — was not a surprise; he had been the favourite all through.
Waiting now, for what the rest of the year will unfold. firstname.lastname@example.org