Prabhudeva in ABCD
Choreographer-director Remo D’Souza’s dance film ABCD (Any Body Can Dance) with Prabhudeva in the lead is making all the right noises ahead of its release this Friday. A t2 jig...
What makes ABCD different from other dance films?
I always wanted to make a dance film, but I didn’t want mine to turn out like the ones that have come out earlier in Bollywood. In the past, filmmakers have just concentrated on the dance and neglected the story. In this film, I have used the medium of dance to tell an emotional story. If people are liking the promo, I can guarantee they will love the film.
Is it true that you thought of making this film 19 years ago?
That’s true. When I started dancing, which was even before I came to Bombay, I knew that I wanted to make a dance film. It took 19 years for things to fall into place.
Shooting a dance film in 3D must have been quite a challenge…
3D isn’t an easy technology to work with. It requires a lot of patience and if you are shooting dance, then the level of difficulty increases. A lot of money is also needed and if the film has become what it is and people are talking about it, then it’s because UTV put its weight behind the film. They believed in the script and they backed me with the budget that a film of this nature demanded. Before them, there were so many other production houses who told me: ‘Oh, you don’t have a big star… do you think a dance film in 3D will work?’ Only UTV told me: ‘Let’s do it.’
Having Prabhudeva in the film must have been special…
He’s a super-sweet person and a very good friend of mine. When I told him I was making a film and if he would be a part of it, he said ‘yes’ straightaway without even asking me the story and the role. When I told him it was a dance film, he got very excited and when he heard that it was going to be in 3D, he got even more excited (laughs). He plays an inspirational dance teacher and I don’t think anyone else would have fitted the role better. The only issue was that he had to speak Hindi and he was very uncomfortable with that (laughs).
You’ve also revisited his iconic Muqabla number in the film…
Unfortunately, we have used the song only for promotion but it was very nostalgic to revisit that song and such a wonderful moment to see Prabhudeva dance to Muqabla once again. In the film, you will see him do a lot of new forms of dance… stuff that you haven’t seen him do before.
remo’s top dance films
Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje (1955)
Fast Forward (1985)
I play a music editor. I give the dancers their music track and though I am mainly behind the console in the film, I got the opportunity to perform in a few songs. I am there with Prabhudeva in many scenes. He is such a big star but throws no tantrums; he is not at all finicky. There were times when we took long to get a shot done but he remained cool. We not only learnt his signature steps from him but he also learnt dance from us! The fun part was his and (dancer-actor) Dharmesh’s conversations. Prabhu Sir can’t speak Hindi and Dharmesh can’t speak English. So Dharmesh would talk in Hindi and Prabhu Sir would reply in English! — Prince Gupta [the Locking and Popping expert on Zee TV’s Dance India Dance who plays Biscuit in ABCD]
As told to Shubhi Tandon
Prabhudeva on ABCD
I would have done any film of Remo’s. It’s a bonus for me that ABCD turned out to be a dance film.
That it’s a dance film is what really hooked me. We haven’t really had a dance film of this scale and nature in Bollywood. Also, that it is in 3D is very interesting. Anything to do with dance always interests me, whether it is films or stage shows or a TV programme. What I liked about ABCD is that along with the dance, it’s a very emotional story.
I play a dance teacher who tells his students to follow their heart and achieve their dreams. People think it’s a cameo, but I am there in the film from beginning to end.
We have had films on dance before, but not with the kind of budget that UTV has. Both Remo and UTV have treated this like a passion project, leaving no stone unturned and cutting no corners.
The songs by Sachin-Jigar are very good, very massy. The dances in the film are superb, unlike anything you have seen before in Bollywood.