The ace choreographer talks about the return to his first love and his new album
Shiamak Davar is back to his first love — singing! The singer-choreographer is soon releasing his music album SHABOP — The Beatman Is Back.
“Singing has always been my first love. After some successful albums in the 1990s, I got tied up with my dance school, shows and movies. With this album, I have come back to it. I think my inspiration has been my journey as a performing artist and standing strong despite the struggles,” says Shiamak, getting nostalgic about his years spent in making India and the world dance to his tunes.
An interesting mix
SHABOP is an interesting mix of acoustic versions, club mixes, inspirational and high energy songs rolled into 10 tracks. Shiamak says, “It is a result of two years of song writing, recording, collaborating, mixing, re-mixing and mastering! I’ve teamed up with friends who are established artists, who have inspired me and share a common passion for music… people like Shankar Mahadevan, Hariharan and Shweta Pandit. The title track is high octane, young and has a hip hop feel; there is a song where I talk about life as a spiritual journey, then there’s a sassy track with Shweta. The album also features fantastic club mixes by DJ Aqeel.”
Talking about the dance-based film Step Up Revolution releasing this week, Shiamak says, “I love the Step Up series and have always supported quality dance-based films. My title track ‘Shabop’ has a hip hop feel and this movie is all about that too! But I’ve again done it my way, completely unique!”
Street dancing has come a long way in India, he feels. “I think people have a lot more avenues today in terms of reality shows and competitions, compared to the time when I started. But the sad part is people lack training and just copy from the Internet. The lack of originality takes away the excitement. In fact, ‘Shabop’ is also a dance style taught at my classes. So I’ve added my own style to hip hop and street funk, and made it suitable for the Indian style.”
To Shiamak Davar goes the credit for popularising Contemporary and Jazz in a country where only Bollywood-style ‘jhatkas’ were popular. He started dance workshops across the of the country when not many thought it made sense to do so. Now there are dance shows, movies (even mainstream Hindi films) based on dance and an increasing demand for choreography classes.
To all this Shiamak says, “Opportunities have increased but people need to focus on training, technique and knowledge – especially those who teach dance. You can’t harm someone else’s body! Also, there is a lack of soul; people need to feel what they’re doing and really connect. Only then can they connect with the audience. Students have been with me for over two decades only for this reason.”
Talking about dividing time between his various passions, Shiamak says that while the performing arts are his existence, singing, dancing and theatre are equally important to him. “(While singing) I was a legend in my living room as a kid and I’d perform for my family. Dance happened much later but my spiritual guides, the Bhavnagris (Rumi and Khorshed, authors of the book The Laws Of The Spirit World) helped me realise my gift and its power to help people,” he says, revealing his spiritual side.
Besides working on the new album, Shiamak is wrapping up work on an international album and is choreographing several stage shows.