International Dance Day: New Age Movie Choreographers Creating Waves

Ek Do Teen ho ya Crazy Kiya Re, some dance songs have become programmed into our heads. On International Dance Day, here’s a look into Bollywood’s new trope of choreographers already making a buzz.

Srushti Pathak
New Update
International Dance Day

From Chaiya Chaiya to Dola Re, Bollywood dance numbers have influenced the audience for decades. Just like Mere Hathon Mein Nau Nau Churiyan gave birth to sangeet hits, What Jhumka continued the trend with some updates. Veterans like the late Saroj Khan, Ganesh Acharya, Farah Khan, Ahmed Khan, Vaibhavi Merchant, and Geeta Kapoor have been flag-bearers of Indian dance. There’s also a new crop of choreographers who have a more contemporary style and are more experimental than ever. 

On International Dance Day, let’s take a look at these new-age, young choreographers who are making Bollywood dance to their tunes.

1. Ashish Patil

Ashish Patil
Image Courtesy: Ashish Patil

Working with the iconic filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali on the highly anticipated project Heeramandi: 'The Diamond Bazaar is Ashish Patil. He came into the limelight with ‘Bai Ga’ from the Marathi movie Chandramukhi which impressed Sanjay Leela Bhansali. 

Hailing from Kalyan, Maharashtra, Ashish was inspired by Madhuri Dixit’s songs that played on Doordarshan’s Chitrahaar. Fighting societal expectations, initial lack of support at home, and depression, he came out victorious. His journey began with local dance competitions and workshops with which he gained fame. Today, Heeramandi is one of the most highly-anticipated series and his name will forever be associated with it.

2. Kruti Mahesh

Kruti Mahes
Image Courtesy: Kruti Mahesh

The magnificent ‘Ghoomar’ song in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus Padmaavat was choreographed by none other than Kruti Mahesh. She was a Dance India Dance participant and won the National Award for best choreography of 2018.

Kruti has learnt several classical dance forms since her childhood and performed at different temples. She received guidance from choreographers Terence Lewis and Remo D’Souza and trained under the latter for over five years, assisting him in the song ‘Deewani Mastani’ from the film Bajirao Mastani and his latest film Street Dancer 3D. Her skillful work on ‘Dholida’ from Gangubai Kathiawadi was highly applauded. 

3. Shakti Mohan

Shakti Mohan
Image Courtesy: Shakti Mohan

The winner of Dance India Dance 2, Shakti was popular for her role of Kriya in the hit dance series Dil Dosti Dance. She assisted veteran choreographer Vaibhavi Merchant on Dhoom 3. She choreographed her first solo song, ‘Nainowale Ne’ from Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat. In 2016, the Mumbai-based dancer opened her own dance studio, Nritya Shakti.

At an early age, she had injured her leg in an accident, and it seemed like she had no chance of even walking again. But with the support of her friends and family, she overcame this challenge and is one of the most celebrated dancers in the industry today.

4. Prince Gupta

Prince Gupta
Image Courtesy: Prince Gupta

For choreographer Prince Gupta, his passion for dance has played a pivotal role in his journey from Vadodara to Bollywood. He began as a contestant on Dance India Dance and is credited with introducing locking and popping style in India.

He has collaborated with actors like Ranbir Kapoor, Tiger Shroff, and Varun Dhawan on movies such as Baaghi 3, Heropanti 2, and Badlapur, among others. Since childhood, he has participated in district and state-level dance competitions. Today, he is not only advancing the Gujarati movie industry with his skills but also making waves in Bollywood.

5. Rujuta Vaidya

Rujuta Vaidya
Image Courtesy: Rujuta Vaidya

She’s not just known in the Indian film industry, but this choreographer is the brain behind some of the biggest Bollywood musical extravaganzas in Hollywood. Trained in a range of Indian classical and folk dances, Rujuta’s moves have made the biggest celebrities sway, right from Priyanka Chopra to Britney Spears.

Some of her most prominent work includes Sridevi-starrer English Vinglish, and assisting Saroj Khan for Jaan-E-Mann and Ta Ra Rum Pum. Rujuta has also choreographed Hollywood celebrities like John Legend and Black Eyed Peas. In 2009, she helped AR Rahman with his performance of Slumdog Millionaire at the Oscars.

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