Dancing for a story

May 07, 2013, 00:00 IST | Shakti Shetty

Terence Lewis needs no introduction. While judging dance performances on TV, nothing escapes his eyes � be it the beauty or flaws.

However, there’s much more to him than showbiz. The youthful dancer-choreographer has headed back to theatre after a decade-long hiatus. Perhaps the art once again beckons him. In a tête-à-tête with CS, the 38-year-old comes clean on his decision to quit Bollywood and sticking with stage productions and reality shows:

Terence Lewis
Who: Terence Lewis
What: On his return to stage 
PIC/ Satyajit Desai

Contemporary Vs Modern
To be blunt, the general public has no grasp of dance forms. They are in for the entertainment factor and you can’t blame them. I always have to keep in mind that I’m presenting something for those in Patiala or Patna. That’s the set criteria. Most of the work I do for television — or earlier did for films — were more of Modern dance forms and less of Contemporary. I can turn to the ‘80s and call it Modern whereas I can’t do the same with Contemporary!

Goodbye, Bollywood
I’m glad I’m done with the Hindi film industry. In fact, it’s been almost four years now but today, I’m confident about my decision. I recently rejected two projects — one of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s and another of Mani Ratnam’s — and I have no regrets whatsoever. Initially I thought it would be difficult to say no to big films like these but it was quite easy. Besides, there are choreographers in this business who can do exactly what I can, so what’s the point?

Creative challenges
There are film stars out there who can’t shake their legs at all but are expected to do so for songs. So the onus falls squarely on choreographers to make their moves as sublime as possible. Not everybody in the industry is a Hrithik Roshan who is a wonderful dancer but he too faces time restrictions in terms of rehearsals. In the end, the song-dance sequences are a jugaad of beautiful costumes and flashy props. Sarojji and Hiralalji did marvelous things in their time as technological interferences were at their minimum.

Done with janta
I used to teach kids how to dance but now I leave that to my students. I don’t feel like teaching the basics year in and year out so I’ve moved on to the next level. I’m working only with professionals and come up with themes I wanted to explore but never had to time before. Even my latest show is a result of that perception.  

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