India on a dancing high

Updated: Jan 15, 2012, 19:43 PM IST

<i>It’s not about victories and failure, but it’s about the passion and desire to excel…</i><br/><br/>There are dance reality shows and then there is Dance India Dance. DID in its 3rd season is a treat you just cannot afford to miss. There is so much learning apart from of course some mind blowing and electrifying dancing on stage.<br/><br/>The latest edition of DID has completely gotten me hooked. The show's stature, talent and choreography are amazing, and that's what attracted me to it. <br/><br/>Unquestionably the flag bearer show of Zee TV, DID’s endeavor of selecting raw talent from different corners of India is simply commendable.<br/><br/>Earlier the only opposite of Indian classical dance was ‘western’ - a word which covered almost all genres. For most Indian kids Michael Jackson, Mithun and, later, Govinda were gods of ‘western’ dance. <br/><br/>But now with growing popularity of India’s biggest dance reality show Dance India Dance, a 23-year-old mine worker from Odisha - Chotu Lohar, who used to break stones for a living in a small North Indian mining village, can pronounce words like krumping, locking and popping!<br/><br/>One contestant in the ongoing season who really impressed me was a young girl from Haridwar, who was called a nachnewali by the locals of her native place. With an aim to fight this taboo and live a life with her head held high, the girl chose the DID platform to prove to the people of her town that dancing can also be a respectable profession.<br/><br/>The judges of the show, who truly are the soul of the DID, are always on the lookout for talent from across India and not just the metros. And that’s precisely how the journey to 22 destinations in India yielded such rare dance forms which were untapped for this long.<br/><br/>I have to admit that through DID I came to know about liquid popping (a type of gestural, interpretive, rave urban street dance), bachata (a form that originated in the Dominican Republic) and Spanish flamenco or the little-known panthi dance from Chattisgarh.<br/><br/>The layman's language of dance has now undergone a sea change. “Even small towners actually use words like 'pirouette' for describing the act of twirling on one leg,” says DID Master and India's first Contemporary dance exponent Terence Lewis. <br/><br/>He adds that the definition of dance is a perpetual work-in-progress. “People who would only dance to songs with lyrics are now dancing to House, techno and poems such as Madhushala,” says Lewis.<br/><br/>Another facet of DID is that the show is not about the lure of a celebrity. It’s also not about staged fights between the mentors. It’s the sheer quality of talent and the participants’ burning desire to excel! <br/><br/>Very evidently, Dance India Dance, as a platform, has emerged as a beacon of hope and recognition for legions of dance enthusiasts across the country and hopefully it would usher in a more robust and competitive dance culture in India.