Dil To Pagal Hai (1997) was released 25 years ago, on October 30 and thanks to this film, Bollywood got introduced to a new style of choreography. And the man behind this feat was Shiamak Davar. His popularity went on another level after the release of this Yash Chopra-directed film, starring Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit and Karisma Kapoor.
25 Years of Dil To Pagal Hai EXCLUSIVE: Shiamak Davar reveals how Shah Rukh Khan pushed him to come on board: “Shah Rukh told me, ‘Listen you HAVE to do this film. You don’t realize the talent you have’”
On Dil To Pagal Hai’s 25th anniversary, Bollywood Hungama exclusively spoke to Shiamak Davar about his experience of choreographing ‘Le Gayi’, ‘Chak Dhoom Dhoom’, ‘Are Re Are’ and ‘Dance Of Envy’, and a lot more.
How important is Dil To Pagal Hai for you? Is it fair to see that you became a household name after this film?
Dil To Pagal Hai changed my life. I thought my western style of choreography would not get appreciated but it ended up getting the audiences' love. I have to thank Yash uncle and Shah Rukh Khan who persistently convinced me to do it and take the risk.
How did you become a part of the film?
Actually I was approached by Yash Chopra for Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995). I did not think my style of choreography would be appropriate for the film. So, I gratefully declined. But then one night over dinner, Shah Rukh told me, “Listen you have to do this film. You don't realize the talent you have.” I still told Yash uncle my style won't work and that it's too western. But that's what they wanted - something new and something different. What really touched me is that when the movie came out, Yash Uncle wrote 'Introducing Shiamak Davar' in the credits. It was a lovely thought.
Did you check the choreography of ‘Dholna’ to ensure ‘Are Re Are' doesn't seem similar?
No, I had no idea about ‘Dholna’. I didn’t have any idea that Farah Khan was doing that song. I knew she was choreographing the rest of the film. She did a wonderful job.
‘Le Gayi Le Gayi' was one of the best songs as an introduction to Shah Rukh in the movie. To make it spectacular, I thought of a lot of things including the costume, the hair and the look. It turned out to be epic. Today, when I look back, (it amazes me what we achieved) 25 years ago and that was my level of work. I am so happy and grateful I did the film.
The rainfall bit was Yash uncle’s idea. In the scene, she was in the hospital and was to dance for the children. I loved the idea as it gave a nice interpretation for Karisma in the film and the song.
Shah Rukh Khan is a dream for anyone to work with. He is a humble, artistic professional and a very caring person. He danced effortlessly and never said no to any of the choreography. He didn’t change anything and was a complete professional. He was also very loving to my team, from my driver to my hired help to the dancers and to me. He was very happy with the dance. He was so glad I said yes to the film, though when I look back, I should be more grateful to him and Yash uncle.
How was it to work with Madhuri Dixit and Karisma Kapoor? And how was it choreographing ‘Dance Of Envy’?
Madhuri has always been the classical beauty while Karisma has always been the modern beauty. In ‘Dance Of Envy’, there was an amalgamation of the two where they both complement each other. It was just pure dance between two as Madhuri was very graceful with her moves while Karisma was more of fire and high octane energy. That mix made the song look good and because Madhuri and Karisma did such a fabulous job, I looked good.
I have never won a Filmfare award to this day, and it's fine. It did hurt me at that time because I won every single award in the country that year, including the National Award. But perhaps, not winning the Filmfare award helped me stay humble. That's how I looked at it. In the end, I'm just too grateful for everything that's come my way.
More Pages: Dil To Pagal Hai Box Office Collection
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