Remo D'Souza Curated
Renowned Dancer and Choreographer
CURATED BY :
Will we see your special storytelling charisma in Race 3?
What are the things that scare you during the release time of a movie?
How was your experience of choreographing for Salman Khan?
And how was shooting the action sequence like?
How did you start with the shooting of Race 3?
Were you anxious about Abbass and Mustan’s reaction and validation towards this third installment?
Were you pressurized with the success of Race 3’s prequels?
Did the rest of the cast agree with the 3D concept of Race 3?
Did you choregraphe all the songs in Race 3?
Where are your mother and father from?
How did you step into the world of dance?
Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
How did you convince your parents about making a career out of dance?
What would be your advice to the people who are struggling in a similar situation?
What happened after you landed in Bombay for the first time?
Tell us something about your struggle period.
What are the different categories of students you had?
How was your first experience in the film industry?
What was the one closeup that uplifted your career?
How was the experience of your first ever shooting and how were you feeling?
What happened after that and how did you start getting fame?
At this stage was it difficult to survive monetarilly?
How did it feel after your first choreography was released?
What was the hardest phase of your struggling life?
Can you talk about the different stages of your career?
How did you get into the field of directing?
How did Dance India Dance enter into your life?
Can you tell us something about your family?
How did it feel when you got your first award of “Best Director”?
How was the experience of your first movie “Faltu”?
How would you describe the importance of taking risks?
Have you changed has a person throughout these years?
How does it feel to know that even technicians are getting fame today in India?
Which is the one choreographer you admire the most?
Why did you cast Ganesh Acharya and Prabhu Deva for ABCD?
Are you going to choreograph all the performances in ABCD?
Why did you cast the contestants from Dance India Dance?
Who is casted as the female lead in ABCD?
Do you agree that Bollywood industry has comparatively less number of Exceptionally Good dancers?
What is going to be different in your new upcoming show “Dance Champions”?
What is going to be special in the second season of Dance plus?
Are the unselected contestants coming back for this season?
Do we find some exceptional talents the second season of Dance plus?
Is the competition going to be more difficult in the second season of Dance plus?
How was your experience working with Tiger Shroff?
Tell us about your family background and childhood.
What was the starting point of your dance journey?
What problems did you face while choosing this profession?
How was your experience after coming to Bombay first time?
How did your film career start?
In starting, when you were teaching dance to people, how was your experience?
What was your experience while working for Rangeela?
How did you get your first break as a choreographer?
How did you feel when the first time your name came on TV as a choreographer?
Tell about your struggle when you were not even a dancer.
How was your journey till now?
How did you start your career as a director?
How was your experience of doing DID first season?
Tell something about your married life.
Share your feelings about FALTU, your first film.
What are your thoughts on risk?
What’s Your synergy with Bhushan Kumar?
Both of us get along extremely well. We’ve been together for the last 20 years. After his father, Gulshan Kumarji’s death, he took over. That’s when I met him. Anubhav Sinha and I were part of the team. We’d make a lot of music videos – almost four a month. T-series was the only company that used to make music videos at that time. We made videos with Jagjit Singhji and Sardool Sikander. We kept talking about making films for years. It’s now that we’re working together for Street Dancer 3D.
What makes Bhushan Kumar an unusual producer to collaborate with?
He’s a friend. You can call him anytime. He will take your call. You can’t call other producers at midnight. You have to call them at the specified hour. But I can call Bhushan any time. He’s accessible and approachable. He understands what type of film is being made, how far the budget can be stretched. He takes a personal interest in every project without interfering. He respects your individuality. That’s a rare quality.
From schooling in Jamnagar to the maximum city, how has the journey been?
My love for dance brought me here. Everything took place step by step in my life. I began as a background dancer in 1996. Finally, I became a choreographer and then a director. The journey’s not been smooth. Every other day I’d face rejection for my looks. I was dark and not good-looking. The discrimination was huge. I wasn’t allowed to showcase my dancing skills because of my dark complexion. One day I spoke with Sunita, Ahmed Khan’s (choreographer/director) sister. I asked her to ignore my looks and just see my dance once. She could reject me after that. When she saw me dance, she was highly impressed and put me in Ahmed Khan’ group. After this I got to dance as a background dancer in Rangeela (1995). Ram Gopal Varma liked me because he likes atrangi kind of faces. I was thin those days. As I worked in the sun, I was tanned. But after seeing my dance he pulled me from the last row and placed me in the front. Later, I became a permanent member of Ahmed Khan’s group. I became Ahmed’s assistant in Himalaya Putra.
How did you get into making videos?
Anubhav Sinha asked me to choreograph his videos. At that time, it was risky. What if the video failed? But I took the risk. We did the video of Deewana (1999) with Sonu Nigam. It was a super hit. After this I wanted to do choreography in films. I did Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar (2000) for Hansal Mehta. Ishq samandar from Kaante was a huge hit. I also choreographed for Anubhav Sinha’s Tum Bin (2001), a T-Series film. Slowly, I earned recognition in the industry.
How did direction happen?
I made my directorial debut with the Bengali film Lal Pahare’r Katha (2007), starring Mithun Chakraborty. I wanted to choreograph a Bengali dance form called chhau. Just to do that, I made a Bengali film. The film was sent for film festivals and won awards but could not be released here. I took a break of one and a half years. Out of sight is out of mind in the industry. It took me a while to begin work as a choreographer again.
How did you reinvent yourself?
Jackky Bhagnani offered me F.A.L.T.U (2011), produced by Vashu Bhagnani. People advised me against it saying that my career would be over if I did a film with Jackky. To top that the film was called F.A.L.T.U. The film was released on the day of the World Cup. I lost all hope. But luck was on my side. The film got a good opening. I’d appeared as a judge on the dance show, Dance India Dance (DID), while shooting for F.A.L.T.U. The show made me a recognizable face. While I was shooting F.A.L.T.U, people would request for an autograph.
How did the dance films happen?
Making a film on dance was my dream. Every one opposed the idea, saying that the film would be a flop. They said that after shows like DID there would be no novelty for the audience. But Ronnie Screwvala and Siddharth Roy Kapoor liked the subject of ABCD (Any Body Can Dance, 2013) and produced it. It was a hit. ABCD 2 (2015) followed.
How did you deal with the poor reviews for A Flying Jatt (2016) and Race 3 (2018)?
The failure of A Flying Jatt and the lukewarm reception to Race 3 was disappointing for sure. A Flying Jatt is close to my heart. The story was good but the budget didn’t support it. Salman Khan trusted me with Race 3 and I’m extremely thankful for that. We’d sit for hours at night, discussing the script. I’ll always cherish that memory. But I do believe that more efforts should have been put in the film. I’m a normal guy. I believe in competition. When I fail, I get angry and sad. I remained depressed for a long time. Everyone tried to console me that this is part of life. I made an effort to come out of it. I devoted myself to Street Dancer 3D.
What’s the lesson you learnt?
Your future is based on your last hit or flop. When a film flops, the blame will be put on you. But you should believe in yourself. The industry’s unreliable. Listen to your heart. Trust yourself and do what you believe is right. I don’t feel established even now. The struggle never ends. There’s struggle at every step. Though I’m secure knowing that I can survive doing anything here. But I can’t work with any actor I wish to. Making a film is a difficult job. A director’s biggest challenge is to have the producer approve your story and convince him to invest money in your films. To get the correct star cast is another task.
Is the evolving taste in audiences a good sign for filmmakers?
A decade ago, I couldn’t think of making a dance film. Today, the audiences enjoy such films. Their tastes have changed drastically. Offbeat films like Bala, Stree, Badhaai Ho, Good Newwz… are doing great business. All that matters is talent here. While Shahid Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan, Varun Dhawan, Ranbir Kapoor and Tiger Shroff are great dancers, it’s heartening that actors like Ayushmann Khurrana, Vicky Kaushal and Rajkummar Rao can dance so well too. It’s a beautiful time to be in the movies and make them. The sky is the limit for those with a dream.
How do you compose yourself in the worst situations?
What drove you towards dance?
How was your experience in reality shows?
Why TV is a great medium for you?
How has been your experience mentoring people?
How close you are to your wife?
What do you enjoy the most?
What are your plans for your future?
People relate to you more as a choreographer than a filmmaker. How would you like to see yourself- as a choreographer or as a filmmaker?
I like it. I don’t want to be called as a film director, because I am always a choreographer. People still call me a dancer as well and I feel nice for the same. I’d like to see myself as all but first I am a dancer, then a choreographer and then a film director.
Which dance form would you like to revive in India, if given a chance?
Indian folk dances are totally vanishing and nobody is trying to revive their state folk dances. I would love to revive all the folk dances from all the states because I think that it’s very important for our culture and we should have our folk dances and know about our folk dances. That’s what I want to do.
What were the stumbling blocks you faced while you were pursuing a career in dance?
Every step that I took didn’t come easy for me because I am not from a filmy background and I wasn’t from Mumbai. It was difficult to survive when I came to Mumbai. It was very difficult to get in the film industry but I got in as a dancer, later it was difficult to get into a good team because there were a lot of background dancers and you ought to be different from others. I’ve struggled and made my place in a dancer community and assisted a choreographer Ahmed Khan, later I became a director, so every step that it took was a big challenge for me. One has to keep working hard and have patience.
Having spent so many years in the industry, which actor according to you has brilliant dancing skills?
I think that I’ve worked with almost everyone but the one actor who actually is still in my heart and showed me how passionate he is towards his work and dancing is Mr. Bachchan Sahab. I worked with him on a lot of songs but I would love to keep working with him because he is amazing.
Who inspired you to step into the world of Dance?
I did not have any guru because at that time in Jamnagar there was no MTV or Channel V. I am talking about 1985 to 1992. I loved dance since my early childhood and used to perform during school functions and all that kind of occasions. But my craving to learn more about dancing is what brought me to Mumbai. I would rather say Michael Jackson is my guru as I used to copy his steps watching him dancing in his videos and then choreograph my own steps by adding something extra.