Global girls groove with desi stars

The IPL8 extravaganza on Tuesday featured three Brits, three Aussies, two Argentines, a Kiwi and a Hungarian.

By Sudeshna Banerjee
  • Published 9.04.15

The IPL8 extravaganza on Tuesday featured three Brits, three Aussies, two Argentines, a Kiwi and a Hungarian.

If you are wondering which team they were on, you are running down the wrong pitch. Ten girls from different corners of the globe were matching steps with Hrithik Roshan, Shahid Kapoor and Anushka Sharma at Salt Lake stadium on Tuesday.

The dancers have been camping in Mumbai for five months, performing for an Indian company at events and weddings around the country. "Mumbai, Hyderabad, Surat..." the girls count on their fingers. But the IPL opening night, where they were part of choreographer Remo D'Souza's troupe, was surely their biggest show.

"My brother was so excited when he heard I was going to India for IPL," gushed Kayleigh Dittmer from England.

The girls themselves do not care much for cricket, the one exception being Rebecca Hinchliffe. "We have a cricket team in our village," said the girl trained in ballet and tap who was dancing just to the left of Anushka.

Asked to name her village, "Broadbottom," she replied, grimacing as the rest broke into laughter. "That happens every time I mention the name," Rebecca shrugged.

When Metro caught up with the girls, they were chilling in an air-conditioned room temporarily set up in Ramp 14 after getting roasted in the mid-day heat while rehearsing with Shahid Kapoor, whom they have code-named Black Shirt because of his all-black outfit at the rehearsal.

"Of course, India was a culture shock for us. But after the first four days it was easy to adapt to. Except the heat," said New Zealander Delwyn Jeffs. "When we came, there were six inches of snow at home," Rebecca said.

"I like the heat. It's sometimes like this at home," chipped in Luz Vilfan from Buenos Aires.

Told that Diego Maradona had set foot on the Salt Lake astroturf, all Rocio, also from Argentian, managed was: "He stays in Dubai these days". The mention of Lionel Messi and that he played here generated more interest. "He's sweet," they chorused.

And who among the Bolly stars got their vote? Olivia Hepworth was quick to pick Nice Eyes (that's Hrithik) and was backed by three more. "I like his biceps," she grinned. "He stretches well. We saw him warm up before the rehearsals," added Rocio.

Shahid, or Black Shirt, got five votes. while Madeline Lamb chose "the girl".

Asked to compare their dancing skills, the girls seemed impressed with both men. "Both are groovy. Both have their styles," Gabriella Sutherland from Australia said.

Mikaela Lemmon is the only one who has seen a Bollywood film. " PK," she said before humming the Chaar kadam tune. She could instantly recognise the song while rehearsing with Anushka.

As the call came for the girls to to get ready for the big night, their eyes gleamed with excitement, despite just four hours of sleep the night before. "Everything is on such a grand scale here. I can't wait to hear the crowd," Kayleigh gushed as they trooped out.