Moonwalking their way into people’s hearts

MJ5 is an all boys dance group that blends locking and popping with Bollywood thumkas   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

R Kartik is living a dream. The dancer has millions of fans that includes celebrities like Riteish Deshmukh and Remo D’Souza.

Kartik is the founder of MJ5, an all-boys dance group, that locks and pops and enthralls. It was a love for Michael Jackson and a desire to pay tribute to him that was instrumental in the formation of the group in 2013. Himanshu Gola, Rohit Singh, Vishnu Kumar and Dennis Anthony and Kartik himself came together and before they knew it had won the internet with their iconic locking and popping style when they auditioned for a reality show India’s Dancing Superstar. “It was just 10 days earlier that we had formed the group. All we wanted to do was dance but the auditions went so well that we became the favourite of the audience and eventually won the show. Then on, life has not been the same,” says Kartik.

Biggies in their kitty
  • YouTube Fanfest India - Mumbai
  • Social Nation Fest - Mumbai
  • Gopalpur Beach Festival- Odisha
  • Ittawah Mahotsav - Uttar Pradesh

The group recently won hearts in the city with its performance on the last day of Visakha Utsav. “We have been to Visakhapatnam a couple of times before for corporate events and also for a show hosted by the Navy. The hills and the coastline make a beautiful combination,” says Rohit.

For the love of drama

The group has seamlessly blended Bollywood thumkas into locking and popping. The emotion-less faces that occasionally break into a smile add fun to their performance. Each act is peppered with Bollywood drama be it recreating the classic ‘ Ja Simran ja...jee le apni zindagi’ from Dilwale Dulhanaiya le Jayenge or the starting dialogues of ‘Oh Oh Jane Jaana’ from Pyar Kiya Toh Darna Kya. “Kartik brings humour to the act. In reality, he is a fun-loving person and that reflects in his choreography. The funny bits also make our acts interesting. We were once performing in front of Rajnikanth and Amitabh Bachchan and we saw them laugh out. That is all the validation we need,” says Vishnu.

MJ5 shot to fame after winning the reality show India’s Dancing Superstars

MJ5 shot to fame after winning the reality show India’s Dancing Superstars  

Himanshu believes that the reality show shaped their careers and helped them become more professional. “While it was a tough journey with lots of rehearsal and the pressure of improving your own acts, it was also a good learning experience. Through the show, we cemented our strengths and got to work on our weaknesses as a group ,” he says.

It was a stroke of luck that brought the boys together all of whom studied at the University of Delhi’s Vocational College. “We were regulars at college fests and were aware of each other’s dancing capabilities. We were all set to audition individually but luckily the auditions got postponed for a month and in that time Kartik came up with the idea of forming a group,” says Rohit. The boys were also a part of Kartik’s dance academy Big Dance School. After winning the show, the boys moved their base from Delhi to Mumbai.

Standing out

Imitation is the best form of flattery and there have been several other artistes who have gone beyond just copying their moves and even copied their group name! “We have to constantly keep updating ourselves so that we are always better than the ones copying us. That is the only way to lead,” says Kartik.

Dance inspirations
  • Michael Jackson
  • Prabhu Deva
  • Allu Arjun

The group had the internet abuzz when they released a version of the song ‘Dheeme Dheeme’ along with actor Karthik Aryan. They have nearly five lakh followers on Instagram, and are frequently invited to perform at corporate events, college fests and award functions. Recalling his most memorable moment in these six years, Kartik says, “During India’s Dancing Superstar, actor Riteish Deshmukh once said that Michael Jackson would have been proud to see the things we do with his dance style and that meant a lot to us.”

They are currently working on a comedy show that will be released as a web -series on YouTube soon.

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 10:49:01 PM |

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