Shakti and Mukti Mohan on celebrating dance amid uncertain times in new reality show

Shakti (left) and Mukti Mohan   | Photo Credit: special arrangement

Even on a Zoom call, the camaraderie is unmissable: Shakti and Mukti Mohan, the dancer/actor/sister-duo, is actively looking for chances to poke fun at each other. While Shakti exudes a formal energy (characteristic of an older sibling in the presence of a younger one), Mukti is all smiles. In fact, the latter is known for her wicked abilities to be eternally cheerful, says Shakti.

It is this effortless dynamic, sans filters, that they wish to bring to Zee Cafe’s new reality show Dance With Me, as co-hosts. An interactive show, Dance With Me will invite entries from viewers (in the form of videos) which will be reviewed by the Mohan sisters, who will also take the audience through a ‘hook step’ every week. Former Dance India Dance episodes will also be featured. And, in between all the reviewing and teaching, there will be a whole lot of “sisterly banter”, Shakti and Mukti assure amid laughs, from their Mumbai home.

Being products of Television and reality shows, both Shakti and Mukti are not unfamiliar with the medium or format. In fact, through the locked-down months, Mukti had come up with her own YouTube videos under the moniker Mukti Manch, while Shakti was busy with a video series called ‘Dance About It’ where she discussed life in lockdown and her trials to cope through dance, as a form of expression.

Dance With Me, is however, different.“Using this platform to talk about experienced and new dancers, dance forms and judges; is a huge responsibility but at the same time a lot of fun because it has ‘us’ together,” says Mukti, for whom having Shakti onboard, right beside her, is an experience in itself — she has always looked up to her elder sister as an artiste.

“We want the viewers to celebrate everything in and around dance, right from costumes to props and expressions. and how important they are to a dancer,” she says. The idea is to create a community of and for dancers. Together, they had also founded Nritya Tribe, a platform that explored the duo’s classical and folk influences from childhood.

In its purest form

The relaxed format of Dance With Me works for the times we are in. “As a result of the pandemic, I feel that dancers have got the chance to stop the race and introspect why they started dancing in the first place. When you sit back and think, you end up creating more,” says Shakti. “Dance is in its purest state now; which is also something we want to celebrate in the show.”

And, reality shows provide the platform: which, according to Shakti, is all the more important now, when artists all over are experiencing a slump. “They can draw from the energy that a platform like this gives and create more.”

The most prominent criticism that reality TV has had to face is perhaps that the fame or recognition received is short-lived. Shakti, however, feels that fame is something that cannot be controlled. “Fame comes, money sometimes may not. But that’s not the fault of the platform, stage or the talent.” Mukti quips in, “I feel that we shouldn’t bother about the things that are really not in our control. An artiste is always asked ‘what, next?’ But, right now, it is the time to introspect and rewind.”

Dance With Me will be aired every Sunday starting October 25, at 10 pm on Zee Cafe and 10 am on Zee TV

Printable version | Nov 26, 2020 10:27:57 AM |

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