“Dance has completely changed my life” – Sandip Soparrkar


He is no new name in the world of dance. He has been there and done that. Right from making his passion his career, Sandip Soparrkar has choreographed innumerable celebrities, judged shows, and won several accolades. The star choreographer is the pioneer of ‘India Dance Week’, a dance platform that brings varied Indian and international dance forms together. He will soon be seen in Power Couple, a celebrity couple show, along with his better half, Jesse Randhawa. In an exclusive conversation with SHAILI MADAN, where Sandip talks about his passion, the show and himself…

Tell me about the show ‘Power Couples’ that you are going to be part of…
This show is going to be aired on Sony TV. It is about the lives of various celebrity couples and making them go through various tasks. It basically tests the couples compatibility through various tasks. The show will be hosted by Malaika Arora Khan and Arbaaz Khan.

This is the first reality show in which you are going to be featuring as a contestant. What are your expectations from the show?
Yes. This is the first time when I will be a contestant on a show. Right now, it looks really nice and entertaining. I am sure its going to be fun. Am looking forward to the experience.

Any of your friends who are also contestants in the show…
We know most of them. Its nice that we are going to be together in the same house. Jesse and I have both known most people and spoken to them at some point of time or the other. I know Shawar Ali since the 1990s so my equation with him is very different. I’ve known him for more than two decades now. Also, I know Mugdha well, who has learnt dance with me. Jesse is friendly with all those in the modelling industry. There are a few of them who I don’t know. I am looking forward to knowing them through the show.

What do you love most about dance?
I think dance is the only way you get to do what you want to do. This is the most important thing. In general, one might have to behave in a certain way with people or do certain things. But dance just lets you be who you want to be. Dance allows you to be you.

You were trained in the culinary field. What pulled you to this profession?
Dancing was always my passion…ever since I was a child. Making it a profession was a decision that came about in the year 2001. That year, I thought I wanted to try something more where dancing was concerned. That is how it all began.

You’ve choreographed a lot of celebrities. Which celebrity are you most comfortable choreographing and why…
I have been most comfortable choreographing Priyanka Chopra. She is extremely focused and beautiful with dance. It is very rare thing to see an artist – to be so focussed. Usually they have multiple things running in their mind. I trained her in the film ‘7 Khoon Maaf’ and also in the ‘Lux’ advertisement. Its great when you get to train someone for four hours…and all those four hours are hundred percent yours.

How do you feel has the industry evolved where dance is concerned?
I think dance is moving down the drains to be very honest. You see a lot of dance forms now but you don’t see something original or authentic. There is a complete mesh-up of various dance forms and it looks pathetic. There was a time where you saw songs to which Helen, Kalpana Iyer or Hema Malini danced to. We could understand that it was either a rock and roll, or folk or classical form. A viewer could understand. Today you don’t know what’s happening! We need to have little more seriousness towards dance that was there before. Actresses’ in those days used to be trained dancers. Now they are training in international dance forms and finally they don’t do anything. One should keep the purity alive of the dance form one pursues. Dance is such an integral part of our culture. We should get back our seriousness towards it.

What do you think has brought about this change?
I think reality shows on television, even the ones I have been judging. The problem is that people need to understand that reality shows are a form of entertainment and not education. When I go to a small city, I see people using a ‘Jhalak Dikhla Ja’ show as their tutors. Somewhere people need to understand the difference. Entertainment cannot be taken seriously, it is meant for fun.

Has people’s perception towards dance changed in recent years?
Not at all. People still want to do a 10-day dance workshop. People’s perception towards Indian classical dance is the same, but Western dance form is still perceived as a fun activity. Ideally, you need to put in the same amount of time and seriousness. They are classical dance forms of international countries.

What is the ideal form of dance one should begin to learn?
I think in the beginning a child must be introduced to all dance forms. Once the child shows interest in any form, he or she must be encouraged to pursue it to the fullest. The child should be able to make his or her choice.

How has dance changed your life?
Dance has completely changed my life. It made me understand myself better. It made me understand what I want to do and what I don’t want to do. It’s made me get a lot of respect from people. At the same time, it made me understand what my interests are and what I want to develop on.

Any philosophy of life…
Just be happy with whatever comes your way…