HYDERABAD: The inaugural IIFA Utsavam was nothing short of a spectacle as a galaxy of stars, including Ram Charan, Shriya Saran, Tamaannaah and Akhil sizzled on stage, lighting up the Gachibowli stadium in Hyderabad during the two-day event. While the stars walked away with all the laurels for their energetic performances, the man behind it all – noted choreographer Shiamak Davar – speaks to Hyderabad Express about what went on behind the scenes, his favourite performers and his experience of choreographing big stars in the south.
How was the experience of choreographing the first ever edition of IIFA Utsavam?
Fantastic! I’ve been choreographing IIFA Awards for over a decade now, but this first edition of the IIFA Utsavam for the South Film Industry is an amazing idea. It brings together four different film industries on one platform. For me, this show is a celebration of films, music and dance.
Dance is a major part of south Indian cinema. What is your opinion about the standards of dancing of South Indian stars? Were you impressed or do you think there’s scope for improvement?
It’s a known fact that most stars in the South industry are natural dancers, so choreographing them has been a complete pleasure. But what really struck me is how humble and hard-working they are. All of them are on time for rehearsals, they know their work and have adapted to my style of choreography and movement beautifully. They are so respectful and sweet, I’m completely impressed by all the stars who performed at the show.
Whose performance at the IIFA Utsavam is closest to your heart? and Why?
It’s very hard to pick one. Each one is special and unique. I’ve tried to bring the larger-than-life experience of stage performance to each act. I think, instead of picking one performance, I’d say this entire show is very close to my heart and will always be really special.
According to you, who is the best dancer in the south?
Prabhu Deva is, of course, the biggest dancing star. I’ve choreographed him once before for a show in Mumbai, and it’s a pleasure to choreograph him again this time for IIFA Utsavam. Even Ram Charan and all the other performers are such talented dancers!
Who is the best dancer you have choreographed in your career?
My favourite would have to be the first star I choreographed for Dil Toh Pagal Hai, Madhuri! And
of course, Hrithik who is a perfectionist, Govinda who is the finest performer, Shahid who was in fact one of my students, and yes, John Travolta who I had choreographed for the IIFA Awards in Tampa Bay.
Your company Shiamak Davar Dance Company is doing very well. What is your role in grooming young talent?
I think our country is blessed with talent. My role is to give them the right training and direction.
With my annual and half-yearly dance certification programs, I select people with potential who want to make dance their career, and give them the best training in dance and the performing arts. This makes their foundation very strong. My dance company members are my real pillars. They are the ones who make my choreography look good!
Will we see you choreograph for Telugu films in the future?
Hopefully soon! I’d be glad to!
What are your immediate plans after IIFA?
Packed with shows, films and classes!