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Movers & Shakers of Dev D

They are the trio that breaks into groovy open-hand dances in Dev D.

Written by Suanshu Khurana |
February 26, 2009 11:38:48 am

After Dev D,these Punjabi-Brit dancers are gearing for more.

They are the trio that breaks into groovy open-hand dances under frosty blue neon lights in Anuraag Kashyap’s Dev D. And as Dev sinks deeper into his hallucinations,they reappear with their gravity-defying gyrations in the songs Nayan tarse and Pardesi,lending the moments their psychedelic stupor. They are the Twilight Players,a group of three brothers from London,who are currently visiting their ancestral home in Phagwara,Punjab,and basking in the success of Dev D.

Christened Gurpal Singh Phgura,Amrik Singh Phgura and Sukjeevan Singh Phgura,the three now prefer their “trade” names — Sinbad,Ammo and Jimmy. A smart move given that their clients are often some big international names—they’ve performed with Michael Jackson,Madonna and Kylie Minogue. “Our style is inspired by a number of dance forms and is always about attitude,never just dance,” says Sinbad,42,the oldest,in a heavy Brit-American accent.

Their father moved to London as a teenager in 1959 and the brothers were born in there. Sinbad was still in school when he participated in the BBC TV show Top of the Pops in the 1980s. Shortly after that,he found himself part of a dance troupe in Los Angeles called Twilight East. Ammo,12 years his junior,says,“Jimmy and I had always looked up to Sinbad and tried to do things the way he did. We followed him to Los Angeles to dance. The only difference is that we opted for formal education at the Performing Arts School of Hertfordshire,UK.”

Fans of the 1970s’ funk music and Bollywood among others,their dance moves resemble a cross between the 1950s’ bop jazz and Michael Jackson. The brothers insist that they’ll never compromise on their dance style,which includes their costumes and attitude. “We turned down several Bollywood projects because they did not suit our style. We met Abhay Deol and Anurag Kashyap a year before the film was to begin through our agent Geeta Handa and hit it off immediately. The results are spectacular because the film allowed us to do our stuff,” says Ammo.

Right now,the brothers are following up on a few film offers. “We would really like to hold workshops for youngsters across cities like Mumbai and Delhi among several others to teach them our dance,” says Ammo. Till that happens,they’re content soaking in some sun on their India vacation.

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