Shiamak Davar, now in New York

Apr 23, 2014, 10:06 IST | Ruchika Kher

Three questions with Dancer, Choreographer Shiamak Davar

Q. Tell us about the dance school you plan to open in the US. Why this idea?
A. Dance helps build bridges between nations and creates a cultural connect. My mission has been to spread dance education and give an opportunity for people to express themselves and make their passion a profession.
So, what started off with just seven students in Mumbai organically spread across India, Canada, Australia, and the UK. Now, it’s time for the US. Hollywood must experience the real Bollywood. Classes will start in New York in the middle of this year and then, I will take it across America through the year.

A snapshot of Selcouth, Shiamak Davar’s Contemporary dance show

Q. You were one of the first few who brought Contemporary Jazz and other Western dance forms to India. You even blended the same in Bollywood. How tough is it to create a niche today, when several dancers brand themselves as experts of Western forms?
A. When I started my classes nearly 30 years ago, dance as a career was completely unheard of. Today, when I see students across age groups and from all walks of life taking up dance, my journey finds meaning. People trust me. They’ve always recognised my work as unique and different, to the extent that it’s now called the Shiamak style! People always like something new, unique and rare.

Choreographer Shiamak Davar has been popularising Contemporary Jazz since the last 30 years

Q. The motto of your dance school is Have Feet. Will Dance™. Taking off from this, what are your tips for budding dancers?
A. A dancer needs to be dedicated, disciplined, and committed to work hard. They need to continuously inspire and be inspired. The process of learning, teaching and learning more will keep them updated and more importantly, grounded.

The key is to keep their mind, body and soul aligned. Also, you need all the passion and love for dance. Training and technique is great but will not make you stand out. I always tell my students, you get trained for years, but only that one person who dances with passion and pours his/her soul out on stage will catch the audience’s eye.

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