Updated: September 26, 2014 1:00:23 am
Q. 1 How did you conceptualise this idea of a Michael Jackson tribute?
The idea came to me after the release of Heropanti. My dance moves were appreciated by the audience and that’s when I decided to pay a tribute to the only individual because of whom I started dancing —Michael Jackson. In the tribute, you can see me performing with my dance teacher, Paresh Shirodkar. So in a way, it’s a tribute to showcase my gratitude to them, and showing it to the world. It is something that I always wanted to do.
Q. 2 Was there any nervousness before stepping into Jackson’s shoes?
Of course! As a performer, there was a certain pressure of living upto the expectations that people have from me. Honestly, nobody can match upto MJ’s style of dance. The idea was not to match steps or copy him, but instead, express my love for his style of dance and perform his moves in my own way. In a tribute, you can wear the kind of outfits he used to sport or try some of his signature moves, like the moonwalk, but in my video, I have only tried to get as close as I can.
Q. 3 How many days did you rehearse before you began shooting?
The entire rehearsal process took two and a half weeks, where both Paresh sir and I worked on the choreography together.
Q. 4 How influential was the pop star’s journey on you as a kid?
Every dance enthusiast has grown up watching MJ perform. He wasn’t just another dancer or singer, but a complete package. For someone who started off with Jackson 5 and went on to become the most iconic popstar in the world, MJ has certainly influenced all of us and I am no different. Jackson was a big part of my life.
Q. 5 Who did you train under to ace your dance moves?
Well, I am not really professionally trained in dance. For the video, I have been learning some moves under the guidance of Paresh sir. Otherwise, I have always looked up the internet for videos and would usually rehearse on my own. Especially the songs where Hrithik sir (Roshan) has performed, because he is a huge inspiration and I really look upto his dance style. I like to mix and match choreography and then add my own thing to it.
Q. 6 You have always considered Jackson as your idol. When did you first get attracted to his style?
It all started with the Thriller video. Those days, we would watch the song videos on VHS. I was blown away by MJ’s moves. I remember watching his videos and practising the moves. I have always been very shy, so I would lock myself up in a room and keep rehearsing for hours, so that no one could watch me.
Q. 7 Which is your all time favourite Michael Jackson number?
That’s a very difficult question (laughs). It isn’t easy to pick just one, but I will go with the entire Thriller album. Be it Billie jean, Human nature and Thriller, they are all so amazing.
Q. 8 How would you define the significance of dance and music in your life?
It certainly is a big part of my life. Dance is a prominent aspect of our culture and personally, I look at it as a medium of expression. I like to express myself through dance, because I am very uncomfortable when it comes to talking. I’d rather dance it out!
Q. 9 Any particular genre of dance that you really wish to learn?
I would like to learn contemporary, because it is something that I think I can really do justice to, as I am into acrobats and can be pretty flexible. I have never got the opportunity to learn this on a professional level. It’s a very beautiful form to look at and I sincerely hope that I will get a chance to learn it one day.
Q. 10 Do you think sites like YouTube serve as a great platform for learning, especially for those who can’t attend dance classes?
Absolutely! It gives several artistes an opportunity to showcase their work and get noticed. You never really know who is watching and how you might just get that one big break. Platforms like YouTube, Daily Motion among others are perfect for those who want to express themselves. Also, there are a lot of people who are visual learners like me. So for us, video tutorials are a boon, as you can learn the moves on your own.
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