The arrival of foreign dancers to India is more or less giving a ‘fresh’ look not only to Bollywood tunes but also Sandalwood movies.
These foreign dancers are seen shaking their legs to desi tunes in films like Anna Bond, Rambo, Vishuvardhana, Vardhanayaka and upcoming films like Sweety, Andar Bahar and Tony to name a few. Having entered a space, where they not only get good money to dance but also lead a good lifestyle, these dancers are however proving to be a costly affair, says choreographer Imran, who just started working with foreign dancers from the film Hudugata.
"Each dancer is paid 10,000 to 15,000 per day. Since they follow the Western culture, they come with certain demands like flight charges and A/C accommodation at a three star hotel. Their food primarily consists of omelettes, burgers, pizzas, juices, cornflakes and soups which should be supplied from a standard food place. The dancers also insist on having a separate van for themselves," he explained.
Off-late, dancers are mostly coming from Australia and UK. "It all depends on what the concept demands. But Russian dancers are not preferred anymore as they used to come on student visa and never took it professionally. The present dancers are trained in a dance academy before they come to India. There is one big agency in Mumbai, that co-ordinates with these dancers," added Imran. It is not that easy to add that oomph factor in Kannada films. Actor and producer Sharan had to shell out a bomb when he hired foreign dancers for the song, Manethanka Bare, Mane Thanka from Rambo. "Initially we did not have the budget to bring in foreign dancers. But when I gave the song to the choreographer, he suggested that I should bring in foreigners as the song would suit them. Soon, I discussed this with my team members. Trust me, the song is a big hit even today and got a lot of attention. These dancers who are more or less paid on par with a heroine's remuneration have more or less made India their home. "We had 20 foreign dancers for Anna Bond and it costed the producer almost 3 lakh per day. No doubt they are expensive but these dancers are quite dedicated. They don't come on stage, if they are not perfect in their moves, expressions, clothes, etc. They always stay fit and they don't look vulgar even if they wear short dresses," explained Imran.
But these dancers have not taken away the bread and butter of the local people," clarifies the choreographer. "Out of 100 films, only 20 films include a special song in their film. Big budget movies and heroes demand foreign dancers.
However, not all the songs use these dancers. We need our local dancers to give the local flavour,"said Sharan who further added," Though foreign dancers dancing to desi tunes are fast becoming a trend, they are used only if they fit the concept. If these dancers are used only to add glamour, then it is just an overdo.”