Star judges : Mithun Chakraborty, Ahmed Khan, Geeta Kapoor and Mudassar Khan
Zee TV, Saturday and Sunday, 9pm
Given a choice, I’d rather stay away from watching talent shows based on children, especially a dance show. The only time I make an exception is if Jaaved Jaaferi features among the celeb judges. Why? I’ll come to that later.
With much reluctance, I sat through Dance India Dance’s spinoff, DID L’il Masters. The show as the title suggests is a dance competition of kids below 16, and is currently in the auditioning stage. To my horror, the show began on exactly the same note that I most dreaded — a three-odd-year-old kid being mollycoddled for being (rather playing) cute. Fortunately, 10 minutes into the show, the real talents began cropping up. As soon as 12-year-old Hardik Ruparel came on the screen, you were hooked to his thoughts and dreams on dance, he then topped that with a smooth performance on the dance floor, leaving you awestruck. Hardik sets the tone of the new season of DID L’il Masters — of pleasant, focussed and driven youngsters. What follows is a line-up of dynamite performances from Monark Trivedi, Vishal Jadhav, Rupesh, Motwani brothers — Devashish and Ayush, Ishita, Dhanush, Yash Parmar and still counting. Such amazing talents. Most of them are 12-year-olds. At the time of going to print, boy contestants were overshadowing the girls, which we hope changes when they have their top 16.
So far so good — and one is sure the show is going to maintain that tempo throughout the season. It’s a tried and tested formula — full of masti and talent. The judges — choreographers Ahmed Khan, Geeta Kapoor and Mudassar Khan — are perfect for the show as they are not intimidating and bring the necessary warmth and fun to the show. And from all the dance reality show judges across the channels, Mudassar uses the best signature expression to describe a good performance — ‘Chik chik… boom… fire!’ The way he says it is quite infectious.
Coming to things that take away from the show, there are two elements that one would like to see less of — children dancing on raunchy songs and second, emotional stories and crying. These two make you very uncomfortable. When a girl of four-odd years danced on Dreamum Wakepum with adult steps and tongue sticking out, the judges disqualified her on the basis of age. But I felt that they let go of a moment to send a message across that the selection of a song was as important, and children should not be made to perform on songs that don’t suit their age. Now, this is why one wishes for a Jaaferi — where the ace dancer and funnyman has a reputation for drawing the line when it comes to vulgar dances on his dance show Boogie Woogie. As for the personal stories, let it unfold gradually instead of creating a charade. Stories that stand out for being genuine is that of the talented Monark Trivedi and Yash Parmar — one, for being stunted in his growth and the latter, a construction worker’s son who has a talent for body contortions, and is being mentored by his choreographer.
Having said that, DID L’il Master is a must-watch for dance lovers — the thrill to be able to spot a style is something else. When Rupesh does a Govinda medley, it makes you want to join him as he does the Goriya chura na mera jeeya. It also makes you realise that the actor’s style is a dance form by itself — one that combines grace, energy, expressions and timing. In short, a Bollywood blockbuster moves!
Verdict: DID L’il Masters is a must-watch for dancer lovers.