Mumbai is known world over for Bollywood, this city is said to be the birth place of all
the latkas and the jhatkas. Delhi, Chennai, Calcutta, Bangalore and other cities of
India are called more traditional and culturally rich as compared to Mumbai, the city
of Mumbai was always this modern child in comparison to its other sister cities, but
as a dancer and a choreographer I would say that this tag is slowly changing.
Mumbai yes was and will always be the Mecca of Bollywood moves but there are a
group of few culturally rich people who are encouraging and supporting pure dance
forms. By pure I not only mean Indian Classical and folk dances but even
International Classical and folk forms which are not mixed, remixed or bollywoodised
in any manner.
Normally a Valentine day is Mumbai would be celebrated with lots of old and new
Bollywood love songs and couples dancing to it in the typical filmy style, but this
valentine weekend Mumbai saw an event like never before and I am honoured I was
the face of this unique event ‘Dance Dream Believe.’ A one of its kind dance
competition that only allowed entries to couples who could perform pure dance
forms. From Ballroom to Bharatnatyum, From Tamilnadu folk to Latin Folk, from Hip
hop dance to Acrobatic dance, Ballet to Bollywood, if a dancer danced purity of a
dance form only them they were allowed to step up on stage and not just the dance
even the music had to be authentic, pure and totally unadulterated, seeing these
points as a strict rule was such a pleasurable change from today’s regular
Lavni dance expert, Hindi and Marathi film actress Varsha Usgaonkar,
Bharatnatuyum dancer and item girl of Bollywood Meghna Naidu, Gold Medalist at
the All India Ballroom Championship and television hottie actor Nakuul Mehta alone
with Kathak dancer and Actress Aashima Sharma judged this grand event. The show
was dynamically hosted by Contemporary dancer and Mtv Roadies contestant Actor
Raj Kumar Singh and Sharara of Bollywood Shamita Shetty was the pretty chief
guest of this fun filled evening.
The best part about the show was its superbly talented dancers. Nalanda Nritya Kala
Mahavidyalaya students performed lesser known Tamilnadu folk dance Kavadee
and got the evening rolling followed by Viloo Barucha School of Ballet dancers
dancing the French style of the Russian Ballet. There was a beautiful couple in end
60’s who danced the English Waltz so gracefully and elegantly that crowd cheered
for them like crazy. Then there were Contemporary acrobatic dancers too Terrence
Lewis’s Dance School who mesmerised one and all with their clean body lines,
flexibility and strength. Sudeesh Dance Crew dancers danced typical Bollywood
moves of Govinda and Mithun da followed by a mesmerising story of
Ardhanarishwar; the lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi presented so aptly that the
4000 odd people present at Phoenix Market City Mall gave them a standing ovation.
When Indian and World dancers come together then how can the Latino dancer be
far away, there was Salsa from Cuba and the Bachata from Dominican Republic too.
Finally when the results were announced and the grand prizes were being given
away, the public demanded that the winner should dance once more for them and
the fun part was that the contestants even obliged the crazy request of the dancer
lovers. The mall almost came to a standstill when the contestants danced to their
request and later cut a yummy heart shaped chocolate cake with the Guest of
Honour Shamita Shetty.
The most inspirational couple prize was won by Kamlesh Rajore and Sushma Nair
for dancing the traditional English Waltz so effortlessly. The second runner award
was won by Muskaan Kapadia and Chirag Hargunani for their Acrobatic Dance
which showcased their immense flexibility and body strength, the first runner up
trophy was taken by Ballet dancers Omkar Gotad and Parinaaz Guard who showed
the audience what real technical dance is all about and the judges declared Abijith
Nair and Radhika Rangparia as the winners for their refined and perfect
Bharatynayum moves which told the age old Shiva and Shakti’s oneness story.
I personally feel that in India we have divided the dances grading them as Indian
classical, Folk, Western, Highly technical, Less technical, Martial, Ritual, etc.
Dividing the dances is fine for knowledge and understanding but dividing the dancers
based on that is unfair. This show ‘Dance Dream Believe’ brought all dancers
together, the view of seeing an Indian Classical dancer standing along with a Ballet
dancer and a Contemporary dancer shaking hands and congratulating a Ballroom
dancer was a sheer delight. This show just simply proved that Mumbai and its dance
lovers have a spirit of absorbing all that is offered to them with respect and love. I
wish more events likes these happen that bring all dancers and dances together on
one single platform, because we must not forget that it is love for Dance that unities
dancer s together.
Sandip Soparrkar is an internationally renowned Ballroom and Latin Dancer
and a Choreographer, he has also made his name as one of the top Bollywood
choreographers of India. He can be contacted on