Dancing like the divine

Talented Duo

AWARD WINNING: Richard and Sneha.

They have literally danced their way into the hearts of the masses. They are Bangalore-based salsa dancers Richard Tholoor and Sneha Kapoor, who have made it to the finals of India’s Got Talent (IGT). The two have not only become extremely popular amongst the audience, but have emerged as a favourite of the judges — Shekhar Kapoor, Sonali Bendre and Kirron Kher, as well. Metrolife spoke to the talented duo from Lourd Vijay’s dance troupe, who swayed like magic during the semi-finals of the show.

It was a member of the production team of India’s Got Talent, who asked Richard and Sneha to participate in the show. However, they were hesitant to audition initially. “Since I had met with an accident not very long ago, I didn’t know if my leg would be able to take it,” says Sneha. But the two finally said yes and rehearsed a simple piece for the auditions, which took place in Delhi. Slowly, they made it to the semi-finals and now finals, which will happen in Mumbai.

Says Richard, “It has been an exciting journey. But frankly speaking, we hadn’t danced together for almost a year as Sneha had completely broken her leg. So the show has been a huge confidence booster for the two of us.” What do they have to say about themselves being the judges’ favourite? Replies Sneha, “Initially, we didn’t know what to expect from a reality show. But the judges have been very sweet, honest and supportive.”

Sneha and Richard are now practising hard for the grand finale, which will air on August 22. “We will be going to Mumbai on August 14. We will have a grooming session for the first few days. Plus, Shiamak Davar is doing the stage management,” informs Sneha. “We will also get a studio to rehearse and then, we will pre-record the finale. However, the result show will be live,” she adds.

Currently, the two are in Bangalore preparing for the ongoing India International Salsa Congress 2009. “After August 9, we will be able to rehearse for the finale full time,” says Sneha. How does she manage to dance, with a rod inserted in one of her legs? She laughs, “It’s just wrapped in crepe.” Admits Richard, “We did push ourselves a bit too hard during the semi-finals.” He adds, “We have been practising for six or seven hours or even more on the days her leg feels alright. But we make sure that we don’t over-exert ourselves.”

How about their other favourites in the show? “There are a lot of good dancers in the show,” says Sneha. “There are some, who do the robot style dancing. Then there is the group that does malkam.” Richard answers, “Of all the acts I have seen, this man who does the pole malkam is the most impressive.” A common favourite of the two is Satyajit Padhye, the ventriloquist and puppeteer.
Ask Sneha about her inspirations and she has only one answer — Richard. “Personally, I got into dancing by chance. I actually wanted to be an athlete,” she answers. “So my inspiration would be Richard as he is the first person whom I saw dancing.” Richard’s inspirations are many. “Johnny Vazquez, Eddie Torres and Frankie Martinez are some of them,” he answers.

Richard feels that the duo’s USP is the authenticity with which they perform salsa. “It’s because we have travelled abroad and represented India in many competitions and won, and it has been a learning experience,” he says.

Life has indeed been a roller coaster ride for them after IGT. But Richard and Sneha are sure of one thing. “The careers of all the participants will take off after this show, as every one in the country will be aware of the talent that exists here,” notes Sneha. And the two promise to put up a truly unique finale straight from the heart. Here is wishing them all the luck.

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