Arts

Born to Dance

Choreographer and director Prabhu Dheva. Photo: Special Arrangement  

If Ashley Banjo, Kimberly Wyatt, Adam Garcia and Paula Abdul can get into judging dance-based reality shows such as Dancing with the Stars, Got to Dance and So You Think You Can Dance on television, it is only because the medium gives them an extended lease of life to be in the public eye. Not to be outdone, our own film stars are jumping on the bandwagon with Indian versions of such shows. After all, our lives are influenced by the song and dance sequences in films and there seems to be an unending desire to get onto the dance floor for instant success and glory.

Dancer, choreographer, actor and an accomplished director Prabhu Dheva had it in his genes to be a Michael Jackson of sorts in Tamil cinema. His father is none other than Sundaram ‘Master’, a name to reckon with in choreography in the Tamil film industry. “I am fortunate to be his son and learnt a lot of dance moves from him,” says Prabhu Dheva.

From his first break in films with a special appearance in Mouna Ragam (1986) to directing Wantedin Hindi and Engeyum Kaadhal in Tamil, Prabhu Dheva has come a long way. But his heart, we find, is still in dance. Considered a pioneer of sorts when it comes to movements and well-coordinated choreography, Prabhu Dheva is probably giving back to the entertainment world what he benefited from films by being an integral part of “Ungalil Yaar Adutha Prabhu Dheva”, a popular dance reality show on Vijay TV. In this second season of the popular show, he will be involved in some of the elimination rounds and have the final say in selecting the winner.

Meanwhile, the first round of auditions has already taken place in Tiruchi, Coimbatore, Madurai and Chennai and out of thousands of participants, 190 have been selected to go to the next level. ‘Poorvika Mobiles Ungalil Yaar Prabhu Dheva,’ a hunt for the best dancer, is all set to be launched today at 7 p.m. on Vijay TV. This show, airing Sundays, provides a great platform to those aged between 14 and 35 to showcase their dancing talent.

Inspired by MJ

To a large extent, Prabhu Dheva achieved superstardom through his own rubbery gyrations in a number of Tamil films and innovative choreography for songs in different language films. Therefore, who better to judge a Chennai-centric show on TV than our own MJ-inspired dancer? “Yes, MJ has been my only inspiration. Based on his movements, I developed my own style and have improvised on it. As a policy, I don’t watch other dancer-singers on TV,” says Prabhu Dheva.

While judging a dance reality show, what does he look for in the contestants? “I look for originality, style and presentation. Observing the movements, I can say if a dancer is naturally talented. If you have that rhythm in you, it is easy to develop styles and movements. There are many participants and finalists from Season 1 of the show who are now established dancers or running dance schools. This is what I am happy about — inspiring youngsters and helping them make a livelihood out of their talent. My advice to the participants is to be natural and develop their own style, practise hard and keep fit physically and mentally. Hard work and dedication are very important in this art as in any other physically demanding profession,” points out Prabhu Dheva.

Prabhu Dheva has clearly inspired the producers of the show and although the entire concept is formulated by them, his close involvement at every stage of the elimination rounds has ensured that the programme is executed to exacting standards set by him.

By the end of Season 2 of “Ungalil Yaar Prabhu Dheva,” we will surely have another dance floor scorcher to carry forward the legacy of Prabhu Dheva.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 10:03:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/arts/born-to-dance/article2704092.ece

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