A step in tune

A step in tune

A step in tune

Joel Premkumar speaks to acclaimed dancer and choreographer Shiamak Davar who returns to singing in his latest music album, ‘Shabop’.

The multi-talented entertainer Shiamak Davar is back after 10 years with a new musical offering — ‘Shabop’. Although he is better known as a contemporary dancer and choreographer, he has released two successful Hindi albums ‘Mohabbat Kar Le’ and ‘Dil Chahe’ and an English album in the ‘90s. Shiamak goes on to add that singing, in fact, is his first love. “I’ve been singing since my childhood — performing in school, and for family and friends,” says Shiamak.

Shiamak Davar has gone on to become an entertainment icon. He has delivered brilliance in multiple roles as a choreographer, singer, performer, song-writer, director, entertainment designer and teacher. His efforts have put India on the world map for contemporary performing arts, culminating in the Shiamak style of dance gaining popularity around the world.

Shiamak Davar began his career as choreographer for Bollywood with the film Dil To Pagal Hai, which went on to win the President’s National Award and the National Film Award for Choreography. This recognition established him as a new-age choreographer. He has since changed the way dance was perceived in Indian films. Bringing in western forms of dance and fusing them with Indian forms, he created a whole new order in Bollywood films. Shiamak has choreographed for several Hindi films such as Taal, Kisna, Bunty Aur Babli, Dhoom 2, I See You, Taare Zameen Par, Yuvvraaj, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and Aladdin. His latest work is for the Indian film Game. His first and only stint as an actor was for a film called Little Ziziou which he also choreographed .

As a performer and entertainment designer, Shiamak has hardly any equals. His incredible ability to deliver exceptional performances has established him firmly on the global entertainment scene. He performed in and choreographed many international shows. Some of the memorable shows include ‘The Shiamak Davar China Tour’, ‘The Seventh Cairo International Song Festival’, ‘IIFA Awards’, ‘Shiamak: The Spirit of Song and Dance South Africa’, ‘I Believe — a Shiamak Davar Spectacular’ and ‘The Unforgettable World Tour’ which was the biggest Bollywood show to tour the world. He has also performed at two Common Wealth closing ceremonies, the World Economic Forum at
Davos and many other global events entertaining several world leaders and dignitaries.

He has also designed, directed and choreographed live acts for every major Bollywood star and also for international stars.

Shiamak started a dance company that was the first of its kind in the country. It teaches several styles of dance like jazz, hip-hop, salsa, Bollywood, afro-jazz, rock and roll, club, rock, and contemporary. The dance education movement currently reaches out to over 60,000 dance enthusiasts across the world, making it the largest dance education movement in the world.

From dance master to singer

Shiamak always wanted to get back to singing and music, which he has finally managed with his new album ‘Shabop’. Shiamak says that the album traces his life in the last two decades, as a performing artist and as a person. He adds that “there is a bit of everything in the album. For me, I grew up with pop culture. So in a way I’m trying to bring that back.

On a personal level the inspiration for the album, according to Shaiamak, is his family, who have stood by him through times of struggle and trusted in his ability as a performing artist. He also mentions his students and fans as his “pillars of strength.”

Talking extensively about the several collaborations in the album, Shiamak says “I’ve teamed up with friends who are themselves established artists, who have inspired me, and share a common passion towards music, like Shankar Mahadevan, Hariharan, Shweta Pandit and my music director Zubin Balaporia. Shankar, in fact, was a backing vocalist for me and since then, I’ve known what a great talent he is. I’ve heard Hariharan when he sang in Taal, so it was great to team up with him as a singer this time. Shweta is so young and vibrant and after a chance meeting at an airport, she told me how keen she was to sing with me. DJ Aqeel has also made some very exciting remixes for the album and DJ RaOwl, from my dance school, has made a funk dubstep mix. Every person associated with the album has been a part of my journey and has stood by me through thick and thin.”

The album promises to be a mixed bag catering to a large audience across categories. Some of the main tracks apart from the title tracks include Zara zara with Shankar Mahadevan, Main chaloon with Hariharan and Bebe featuring Swetha Pandit. Inam hai zindagi has a special place in Shaimak’s heart as “it talks about my spiritual learning, karma, life after death and beliefs.” The album also includes his hit song Jaane kisne, which he has brought back on popular demand, but in a new avatar — as an acoustic version with himself on the piano. ‘Shabop’ has been released exclusively in the digital format on ArtistAloud.com

Shiamak is currently working on an international music album which is almost complete and should be releasing soon. He is also working on quite a few musicals and shows. He teaches his one-year graduation program on a daily basis. There are a few Bollywood projects in the pipeline as well. He promises to continue pushing the boundaries in the realm of performing arts and taking India to the world and vice versa.

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