Probably the most recognised face of western dance, in and beyond India. Sandip Soparrkar has chalked out his next big plan, post mapping the moves of Britney Spears, Shakira and performing at Madonna’s 50th birthday celebrations. When he unlocks his limbs gracefully on stage, your eyes move with him. His passion for his art floors you consistently.
“I started dancing at the age of 12,” shares Sandip. “I learnt dance and I used to compete with my Polish partner for different European Latin championships. We danced together for over nine years. After we parted ways, I decided to teach dancing and did my certifications in Latin and ballroom dance from the Ballroom Dance Teacher Training School in Germany,” he adds. Soparrkar pursued the three-year-long course, much against the wishes of his father. After all, it was an unusual choice of a career for the hotel management graduate. “But my mother and my ex-boss, Ms Pinto, convinced my dad that he should let me follow my heart,” he says.
Today, Sandip Soparrkar is an unbeatable brand in western dance forms. From Kites and Holiday to Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji and 7 Khoon Maaf, he has crafted dance pieces in many celluloid adventures. What has been the biggest challenge he has faced? “It took me a while to understand film choreography. But when I was nominated for Screen Awards (for Kites) and the American Choreography Awards (for Britney’s Womaniser video), I felt I have been able to overcome my shortcomings as a choreographer.”
What has been the best compliment he has received so far? “It was by Madonna. After she watched my performance, she said, ‘Seeing you dance is like poetry in motion,’” says Sandip.
Though Soparrkar holds the enviable certification and qualification to teach ballroom and Latin dance (rumba, samba, cha cha cha, jive, paso doble, waltz, vinnese waltz, foxtrot, quickstep, tango) till the championship level, he is unassuming about his proficiency.
What transpires in his mind when he is on stage? “Ballroom and Latin dances are like dreams. It is therefore important to make dreams come alive on stage,” he says.
Sandip’s icons include Pandit Birju Maharaj and Astad Deboo as “they are both phenomenal dancers and have proved that Natraj is still alive.”
Internationally, he reveres legendary dancers like Paul Killick and Donny Berns as they are an amalgam of the vital qualities required for dancing — technique, dedication and showmanship.
After performing at the recently concluded World Economic Forum at Davos, Soparrkar is getting ready to leave for his performance slated for the royal wedding in London, that of Prince William and Kate Middleton. “It is a wonderful feeling to have my talent recognised and appreciated, not just in India, but across the world. I hope to make my parents and my country proud through many such opportunities,” he says.
The year has begun on a great note. Soparrkar now looks forward to his next bunch of accolades — movies like Raftar 24x7 and Jhoom Zindagi Jhoom. This, in addition to the opportunity to judge a reality show on television. Caramba!