In conversation with Indianexpress.com the celebrated choreographer Ashley Lobo spoke about his association with much-awaited flick Bombay Velvet, future of International dance forms and his plans of making films on dance.
Let’s talk about your association with Bombay Velvet and working with Anurag Kashyap?
Well, he is a man of content. He knows what he wants from his artists whether it’s off screen or on screen. The film is about Jazz singers and I have trained Anushka Sharma and Raveena Tandon about the minutes of Jazz singing. And as the film is concentrated on Jazz club, so the audiences will also see the old school Jazz dancing too, which has never been shown before in India cinema. I have choreographed the entire sequence and I feel the story line and the picturisation of the same is very much in sync and I have tried my best to do justice in terms of creating the aura of Jazz.
How did bollywood happen to Ashley?
I will say it was more about word of mouth that drove me to bollywood industry. I have my dance academy Danceworx in Delhi and I was producing my show with a producer, when somebody from Bollywood approached him and he suggested I meet Imtiaz Ali in Mumbai, I flew down to Mumbai, we got along well and gradually my introduction to Bollywood happened.
How do you look at Indian entertainment industry and Bollywood as a platform for International dance forms?
Things are changing and people have started taking it seriously. Right from career option to source of entertainment, the international dance forms like Jazz and salsa are being accepted in Indian entertainment market. I remember when I started, market of Delhi was very conservative, but today people have become more experimental in terms of career. And as a source of entertainment too international dance forms have grown way ahead. It’s the right time to do with films on international dance forms and down the lane two years from now I see myself making a movie.
You are a theatre artist too, how does Ashley collaborate theatre and dance in his acts?
I feel both the genre are more or the same. In theatre you perform with dialogues and here in dance you perform with your actions. The soul is same just the medium is different. For me as an artist, it’s more about delivering the message correctly with a combination of both in its simplest form.
What is more challenging, working for films or directing your own production?
See, it’s altogether different. When I am involved in my production or academy I am like a principal of the school, but once I am working for a film I am the choreographer who has been guided to make the best of it. Neither is challenging, till the time it is about my forte it is more like enjoyment to me.