Shiamak Davar

Award-winning Indian cinematic and performing artist Shiamak Davar will bring his world-renowned blend of Bollywood Jazz and contemporary dance to two Vancouver stages as the official Director of Choreography and Design at the inaugural 2013 Times of India Film Awards (TOIFA) from April 4 to 6.

Famous for popularizing Bollywood dance around the globe, Vancouver resident Davar will both choreograph and direct lively entertainment acts for India’s biggest stars at TOIFA’s Musical Extravaganza (April 4) at the Pacific Coliseum, and Awards Ceremony (April 6) at BC Place. Participating celebrities will include Shahrukh Khan, Katrina Kaif, Priyanka Chopra, Sukhwinder Singh, Hard Kaur, Sunidhi Chauhan, Mohit Chauhan, and others.

“It’s no secret that I call Vancouver my second home,” says Shiamak Davar. “As you can imagine, I am honoured to be part of this historic event, which fuses together two of my greatest loves – the thrill and excitement of Bollywood with the beauty of Vancouver as its backdrop.”

In addition to choreographing and directing (with Cineyug Entertainment) both the Musical Extravaganza and Awards Ceremony, Shiamak will wow audiences with single performances at each event, showcasing his signature music and dance style. Shiamak will also design glamorous and vibrant costumes and props for each entertainment act he choreographs.

Bollywood Jazz
[Bollywood Jazz]

Known as India’s guru of contemporary dance, Shiamak Davar is a much sought-after choreographer known for his trendsetting work in Bollywood blockbusters and for changing the way the world looks at Bollywood dance. I had the chance to interview Shiamak Davar via email ahead of next month’s big event.

Q: What process did you undergo in order to mount and choreograph the upcoming India Film Awards musical extravaganza?
A: Every project that I take up is an extension of my creativity. This particular show is very close of my heart as it brings India and Canada together; my two homes. So the concept and the idea is to demonstrate the two cultures through dance movement and introduce Bollywood to Vancouver in all its grandeur.
The planning process for a show of such magnitude starts much in advance. As a co-director, entertainment designer, choreographer and performer; I’ve been involved in every aspect and the basic idea has been to showcase the best of the Indian Cinema. From music, costumes designing, lights and sound, choreographing to rehearsals, coordinating with other star performers; there is constant activity and things to do. I’ve been working closely with my core team and things are falling into place beautifully.
Q: I understand that you’ve rubbed shoulders with Bill Clinton, Oprah, and Tom Cruise. In meeting some of the world’s brightest stars and thought leaders, which luminary has left you with the greatest impression to date? 
A: The thing that touches me the most is that all celebrities globally have such high regard for other cultures and appreciate talent in the true spirit. Of the names that you’ve mentioned and many more, this is the common thread that binds them; music and dance really does speak a universal language. It has always been my mission to reach out and touch people through the performing arts, so whether it is a four year old who attends my dance classes, an eighty four year old who performs at my student shows or an international leader who appreciates my work; the aim is to create a positive environment through performing arts.
Q: You’ll be directing and choreographing two events during Times of India Film Awards: a musical extravaganza and the awards ceremony. Which of the two poses the greatest challenge for your team?
A: Song and dance both are such an important part of Bollywood; it is what we’ve grown up watching. Both the shows are very exciting and they will bring out an essence of what Indian Cinema is about. I see it not as a challenge but a cultural exchange between the Beautiful British Columbia and Incredible India!

Tickets for TOIFA’s Musical Extravaganza and Awards Ceremony are on sale now via Ticketmaster.

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