Michael Jackson inspired me to dance: Remo D’Souza

MUMBAI, July 22: He was 14 when he saw Michael Jackson do the moonwalk and now a successful choreographer himself, Remo D’Souza credits ‘King of Pop’ for giving him a dream worth following.

Remo got his first Bollywood break in 1995 with Ram Gopal Varma’s “Rangeela”. He thinks his journey in Bollywood has been quite filmi as it includes sleeping on railway platforms to teaching dance for a living.

Hailing from Jamnagar, a city in Gujarat, the choreographer is grateful to his mother and sister for supporting him through his struggle period.

“I was 14-15 when I first saw Michael Jackson dance and I thought ‘How can he move like that?’ I started following him. We didn’t have TV in those days and could access videos on VCR. But who in Gujarat would keep a MJ tape? After a year or so, I knew somebody from Mumbai who got that tape for me.

“That is how I started dancing and told my parents that I don’t want to study but dance. Initially, they were very scared, my father was against it. But my mom and sister supported me and allowed me to go to Mumbai for a month,” Remo told PTI in an interview.

After months of struggle in the industry, Remo ended up teaching dancing for a living to avoid going home.

“After a month, I was on the streets… Had no food, no money, sleeping on stations. I thought my life was over and I will have to go back, listen to my father. So I lied to my mom for months that I have work. Then came ‘Rangeela’ in 1995 and I got to showcase my talent,” he added.

Today, Remo’s list of projects include hits like “Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani”, “Kal Ho Na Ho”, “Kaminey”, “Singh Is Kinng”. He is currently working on Salman Khan starrer “Mental” and Hrithik Roshan’s superhero movie “Krrish 3”.

Remo credits dance reality shows like ‘Jhalak Dikhla Jaa’ on Colors for making him a familiar face with the audiences.

“I look forward to ‘Jhalak Dikhla Ja’ every year because the format of the show is really nice – celebrities coming in and competing with each other. The main reason I do it is Madhuri Dixit. I am a big fan and I sit next to her so it’s like a dream,” the choreographer said.

Remo thinks that reality shows have brought an awareness among people as audience today recognise dance terms like Waltz, Quickstep, Rumba and Samba.

“Last four years there has been a huge jump thanks to reality shows like ‘Dance India Dance’ and ‘Jhalak’. Initially, people didn’t pay attention to dance or who the choreographer was. Now everyone knows all the dance forms,” Remo said.

Besides dancing, the choreographer has also ventured into direction with films like “FALTU” and dance drama “ABCD”.

He is currently working on “ABCD 2” 3D for which he will be shooting in America. His other directing projects includes an action movie, based on the lines of “Fast and Furious” which is being produced by Karan Johar, his co-judge on ‘Jhalak’. (PTI)


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