Ace choreographer and reality show judge, Terence Lewis is back with Jugnee – a contemporary dance festival that starts today and will run till May 3. Ahead of his workshop, Terence took out some time to discuss all things dance.
How did the concept of Jugnee fall in place?
Actually, with so many reality shows on TV, we feel it’s become easier for people to get platforms to showcase their talent. But what about the people who do not want to face the camera? Thinking about them, I thought I needed to do something. I wanted to do something to take it further. I am already part of the largest dance festival in Vienna and they helped me put all this together. They also told me that one of the kids will also get a fully financed scholarship to study dance and it will include studies, dance workshops, food, apartment, everything. It’s a great opportunity for people to learn.
We’ve seen you doing numerous shows on TV but you have shied away from choreographing in Bollywood films. Why?
I genuinely don’t think I am needed in Bollywood and the people there are already doing a fabulous job. I don’t think I can add my name to it because I am a purist and I love dance that can happen in one go. I like to create dances where there is camera and there are no cuts. I would like to choreograph something like Dola Re because in such songs, you have only seven or eight cuts. I want some challenging songs where you see the dance. Today, it’s become an excuse for people who are either not talented or don’t have time to rehearse. I don’t believe in retakes and I love that adventure and thrill. That’s why I love TV shows. because there are no retakes.
You were judging DID. Then, you went on a break and now have come back.
Yes, I have shot for the first three-four weeks of DID and they are out already. I have already come back on DID Supermoms. I wanted to take a break because I was tired of doing the same thing. I get bored very easily with myself and everything else around me. So I keep changing things in my life very often.
ABCD certainly brought in a lot of acceptance for the genre of dance films.
(Cuts in) ABCD was my title which I gifted to Remo on his birthday two years ago. We were working together when he had asked if he could use my title. He did not have the title for the film and it was registered with me. I gave him the title and I am very happy that the sequel is being made now. That film has made the life of our dancers, especially the ones from DID. I am quite happy that Remo took that step and moved towards that space. It’s high time that dancers get their due recognition as well.
Any song in the recent past which you loved.
Oh, I absolutely loved how Vaibhavi made Katrina dance in Kamli. Also Ganesh Masterji’s Tattad Tattad (Goliyon Ki Raasleela: Ram-Leela) and Chikni Chameli (Agneepath) are my personal favourites. The main star is not just walking and posing with the girls, but they are actually dancing. These songs were not gimmicky unlike most other Bollywood songs. And that’s something that irritates me a lot. I don’t understand the need of an actor to just stand, prance and lean while the back-up dancers are busy doing the steps. It’s just a waste of the beautiful song. Remo also did an amazing job in Badtameez Dil. I loved Haider’s Bismil, too.
Any song in the recent past which you think you could have done better.
Not in recent times, but there’s this film which I wish I could do all the songs over again and that is Rangeela. The soundtrack of Rangeela is mindblowing. Even Roja is unbelievable. They gave you goosebumps.
Watched the ABCD 2 trailer yet?
No, I haven’t. But I’ve seen the poster and I feel it’s an amazing poster.
Will you ever make a dance film?
I do want to make a dance film, but I don’t want to make the same film with the same clichéd concept. I would do something which portrays someone’s journey, something like in Abhimaan, where two people want to go ahead, but only one does. The tension between the two is exciting. For me, the emotional journey of a dancer is far more important than putting dance in the background and making a film on dance championships. What about the story of a dancer who was once famous and is now no longer dancing? For me, those stories are more important. Entertainment is important, but it has to reach out to the audiences with a message. That’s cinema for me.