As the craze of dance starts to take over, Madhuri Dixit returns as the supreme judge on the upcoming season of COLORS’ Dance Deewane. Coming back for the third time, the original Diva of dance Madhuri will be joined by Tushar Kalia and Dharmesh Yelande, who is a new addition to the cast. Also joining the trio will be Raghav Juyal as host, another new addition. With the theme being Waqt ko Nachayenge, Dance Machayenge, the show will see three generations of dancers compete for the trophy. In a freewheeling interview, Madhuri talks about what Dance Deewane means to her, how she spent her lockdown and how the show is an important platform in the life of aspiring dancers.
What encourages you to judge Dance Deewane every year?
Several things excite me about Dance Deewane. To start with, the fact that Dance Deewane allows the third generation to showcase their skills, something that we don’t see on television. I believe that anybody can dance, and all that is needed is the passion to go up and give into the magic of the art form. I appreciate the fact that Dance Deewane celebrates dance and there are no age barriers, as we have three generations of people coming together to win the coveted trophy. What is also very special this season is that, in addition to me and Tushar, there are two new dancers joining us; Dharmesh Yelande on the judges panel and Raghav Juyal as the host. All four of us are dancers and we realize the passion for the art form. These are some of the reasons I keep coming back to Dance Deewane.
With every season, we see a lot more people competing in dance shoes. Why do you feel that is?
One of the main reasons for this is the aspirational quality of a show like Dance Deewane where people want to come up and showcase their talent to the country. Dance Deewane is a platform for these talented individuals which gives them recognition. It makes dance more than a passion. A person can make their livelihood after gaining recognition on the show. The world has changed, and today, dancers can do really well in their careers if they are talented, and Dance Deewane gives them an opportunity to showcase just how skilled they are. I believe that could be one of the reasons why we are seeing such enthusiastic participation.
How was the lockdown for you? And how is it to come back to routine after this?
I kept myself busy in lockdown. I got an opportunity to spend time with my kids and with my mother. You know, we always used to crib that we never get a chance to be with our family because of our busy schedule, but these 7 months gave us a chance to spend a lot of time with our families. I spent a good amount of time working on Dance With Madhuri as well and we did several contests and gave free classes. I also got a chance to let the creative juices flow and released an English song of my own! Now that things are opening up, I am feeling quite positive, yet we need to take all the precautions we can until we don’t defeat this virus completely.
What are the qualities a good dancer should have?
A good dancer should have skills like ease and grace. A dancer should understand the rhythm and the dance form. They should understand the expressions and even the body language of each style. The one possessing all these qualities becomes a good dancer. That being said, there should be an X-Factor in each of the contestants. The thing is, it is very difficult to pinpoint any one thing, but that X-Factor is what makes the difference and elevates one from being a good dancer to a great one! That is what we all are looking for.
From all of your dance performances, which one was the most challenging?
There are a lot of songs which were difficult for me. But the ones which really put me to test were performances like Choli Ke Piche Kya Hai, Chane Ke Khet Mein, Ke Sera Sera, Ek Do Teen and Tamma Tamma. While these were some of the most difficult songs that I danced on, they are also the most memorable ones.
How do you keep yourself updated with new dance forms ?
One of the reasons that I glad to be part of Dance Deewane is that the show has taught me a lot about new dance forms! I have learnt so much about modern dance formats by being a part of it. When I started dancing, we only knew of folk dance, hip-hop, classical, etc but now there are so many new dance forms like experiential, Contortion etc.
Do you think that choreography in movies has become more challenging?
Yes, I do. Choreography in movies is definitely more challenging today. These days, dance involves a lot of leaps and there are several new techniques for lifts as well. The choreography these days has a lot of physical movements compared to before. There were no stunts in dance before, but now if one wants to become an all-round dancer, one should know these stunts. It is definitely more challenging. The young kids who are 6 and 7-year-old also dance well at such a small age, I wonder what magic they will do later!