Bollywood is missing a dancing star a la Madhuri Dixit, says choreographer Mini Pradhan, who has made her debut as a judge on the new season of dance reality television show "Dance India Dance" (DID).
After assisting iconic choreographers like Farah Khan, Saroj Khan and working as a technical choreographer, Mini has joined the show's two judges -- Mudassar Khan and Marzi Pestonji -- along with grand master Mithun Chakraborty.
Mini spoke to IANS about her experience on the show, as well as the changing dynamics of film choreography.
As the image of Hindi film heroines is changing -- from Madhubala, Vyjayanthimala, Meena Kumari, Rekha, Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit to Deepika Padukone, the dancing skills of a quintessential Hindi film heroine have also changed.
Asked about it, Mini told IANS here: "I think after Madhuri, I see no one in present time has the ability to dance like her. As an audience, you won't be able to take your eyes off from her just for her pure dancing."
Having said that, she mentioned the talent of actress Deepika Padukone, who has won hearts with her dance in the "Ghoomar" song from "Padmavati".
"Deepika is a very hard working artiste when it comes to dancing. I choreographed 'Dhoom taana' for her debut film 'Om Shanti Om'. In the beginning, she found it a little difficult to dance, and therefore, for one song, she practised around 12 hours to reach to perfection. She is that dedicated, and it translates into her performance."
For now, Mini is excited about her stint on DID, and says judging talent is tougher than it seems.
What are her basic parameters of a good performance?
"Well, the basics are simple -- rhythm, expression and emoting the song correctly. Rest differs, but if you are not dancing on the right beat, you are not dancing."
Zee TV's DID has set a bar for dance shows in Indian television, by balancing the art of dance and the entertainment quotient.
According to Mini, with the change in the language of entertainment and with the audience's attention span getting shorter, somewhere commercialization has overpowered the purity of a dance form and versatility has taken centrestage.
A trained classical dancer, Mini is a little upset about how bringing classical dance in a reality TV show is challenging at times.
"DID is a popular show, therefore it is a platform where we can bring it in, and we have introduced as many forms of Indian dance as possible. As a judge, we always look for pure talent. But it is in the mentality of participants that unless they are showing their versatility in one act -- fusing two different styles of dancing -- they won't get selected or appreciated by the larger audience, but that is not true.
"We are here to encourage talent and its excellence," she added.