Get the Groove Back

Get the Groove Back

It was the first player on the dance reality scene on Indian TV,but will Boogie Woogie survive the competition now?

Back in 1997 when they shared their dream of a dance reality show on Indian television,the trio — Naved,Jaaved Jaffrey and Ravi Behl — was laughed at. “We were told,no one would want to watch men,women or children dancing on stage,” recalls Naved,co-producer and judge of the popular dance show Boogie Woogie. We know this script well. We know that till 2010 Boogie Woogie enjoyed its reputation as the undisputed dance reality show of Indian TV.

A lot has changed since. Today’s television landscape is dominated by dance based reality shows such as Nach Baliye,Dance India Dance and Jhalak Dikhla Jaa. When Boogie Woogie returns on December 7 on Sony TV,it has to jostle for ratings. From being the only player on the block to yet another dance reality show,does the show have what it takes to stand out and survive?

The apprehension doesn’t affect the show’s producers,Naved and Behl. “We are aware that there are more dance shows on air today. And some of them are doing a superb job. But why feel the pressure?” says Behl,adding that having too many dance shows can never be a bad thing. “We just have 16 kids on our show. There should be more platforms where other kids go and perform. Dance is now popular and we cannot be happier,” says Naved,adding,“We’re a song-and-dance country. You go to any part of the country — the beats and folk dances in the north,the traditional dances of the south — dance is deep-rooted. Every part of the country taps its toes differently. So there’s immense potential that we haven’t even begun to look into.”

The producers also agree that the show targets a different audience from their competitors. “Our aim has only been to showcase good talent coming from the common man,not famous people or celebrities. That has always been our USP,” explains Naved. “There is never unnecessary drama on the show — just dance. It was always a show that the family could watch together. And we want to bring that back,” says Behl. The creators are counting on their loyal fan base to be back with them,as Behl adds,“The show’s legacy will definitely help us in a lot of ways.”

The explosion of the dance scene — with the internet opening up avenues for people to pick and learn new dance forms — will also impact the show’s content. The contestants will be seen doing hip hop,B-Boying,ballet,jazz,belly-dancing,locking and popping along with Bharatanatyam,kathak and contemporary dance styles. Jaaved insists that they’ve kept the soul of the show the same because that’s what the audience loved the most. “It’s like I always say,‘Why fix something that ain’t broken?” adds Behl.