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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Step Wise

UK-based salsa choreographer Mario Mathew Hazarika hopes to conduct a salsa workshop in India next year

Written by Debjani Paul | Published: July 31, 2012 1:17:51 am

UK-based salsa choreographer Mario Mathew Hazarika hopes to conduct a salsa workshop in India next year

He aspired to pursue an occupation related to accountancy but a trip to a salsa club in 1998 redefined his career path. Despite his weight,which is a whopping 170 kg,UK-based choreographer Mario Mathew Hazarika,a.k.a Super Mario,can perform the most complicated salsa moves effortlessly. He was appreciated for choreographing routines on international television shows such as The Eastenders and The Ricky Jervais Show,in the UK and The Kmicco Show in Japan.

Having travelled to over 90 counties in his career span,the globetrotter made a stop at Pune between July 28-30. He was in the city to teach students at the Pune International Dance Congress (PIDC) at VITS,a hotel in Balewadi. “This is the first time I am attending PIDC. Many years back,I attended my first dance congress in UK but that was also as a teacher. That time I was just two years old in the field of salsa and the fact that I was invited as a teacher gave me a feeling that I was on the right track,” says Hazarika,who moved from Chennai to the UK with his family as a teenager.

Recalling his initiation into salsa,he adds,“I instantly fell in love with the dance form when I visited a salsa club with a friend in 1998. When I told my parents that I wanted to pursue it,they were okay with it as a hobby but not as a career choice. However,I’m glad I persisted and followed my dream.”

Despite the fact that the dance form is associated with clean moves and difficult lifts,Hazarika says his heavy built hasn’t ever posed a problem for him. “In salsa,people don’t care about race,sex or size,everyone is comfortable. I weigh 170 kg and despite that I’ve never felt out of place,” notes the choreographer,who travels to dance events almost every weekend. The ease with which he choreographs new combinations of different steps and styles from different places has earned him the title of “Million Moves Man” in the salsa fraternity. Someone who prefers to lead,Mario swears by the salsa styles from Los Angeles and New York. “Both styles are very exciting and challenging because they are led by men and usually ladies can’t anticipate what’s going to happen next,” he says,adding that while the dance styles are similar,the beats are different. “The Los Angeles style follows one beat and the New York style follows two beats. It is slower and sexier than the first,” explains the choreographer who has taught salsa across the globe,from Austria to Japan,Switzerland and Poland.

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