Choreographer hoke bhi unfit?
If choreography is all about dancing, why are most hotsteppers so “healthy”?
Saloni Bhatia (BOMBAY TIMES; June 9, 2012)
Fitness experts swear by dance as a great exercise. But despite being dance professionals, some top choreographers like Saroj Khan, Farah Khan, Ahmed Khan, Ganesh Acharya, Geeta Kapoor and Vaibhavi Merchant are on the heavier side. We ask some choreographers what makes it difficult for them to stay fit, and whether that interferes with their work.
WHY CHOREOGRAPHERS PILE ON
Blame their erratic schedules or the oily food served on sets, choreographers say it isn’t always easy to stay in shape. Also, industry insiders say that the job of a choreographer is akin to that of a dance director. “Foreign choreographers are only concerned about dancing. But Indian choreographers have to look into things like camera angles, costumes, etc. Our choreographers are very good dancers but amid all this, they get lazy about workouts,” says Caesar of choreographer duo Bosco-Caesar, adding that he has put on 5 kgs in the last five years because he’s become casual with his workout. Like a sportsperson, a choreographer’s body is also affected by injuries, says Geeta Kapoor (right). “Earlier, I was slim, but later, I put on weight. I have a major slip disc problem. Genetically also, my mother is on the heavier side. I had kept my weight under control, but after an accident during the first season of Dance India Dance, where I injured my spine and elbow, I was told not to work out. Another bad injury later ensured that I couldn’t work out at all. Two discs in my back are completely damaged and I am on medication. For a complete cure, I’d have to take six months of bed rest, which I can’t. I want to keep doing something or the other. If I go on bed rest, I’ll probably end up with many other problems.”
Saroj Khan (left) put on weight after a Caesarean operation. “I gained weight after my third daughter was born in 1983. Since I had a Caesarean section, I was told to take precautions. But I didn’t, and started dancing when my daughter was only 12 days old. I had to do a Kamal Haasan movie. Thereafter, even if I lost weight, people would ask me ‘Are you sick?’ and so I’d just let it be,” she laughs.
RELYING ON ASSISTANTS
When choreographers are assistants themselves, they do a lot of dancing. But when they go higher up the hierarchy, they rely on their assistants to do all the dancing.
Remo D’Souza concurs. “Visits to rehearsal halls by choreographers are limited. The assistants do all the dancing,” he says, adding that he makes it a point to choreograph his songs himself. But what do assistants do? Replies Caesar, “The choreographer teaches the moves to the assistants, and the assistants then train the actors.”
NO FOCUS ON LOOKS
“Choreographers usually stay behind the camera and don’t bother with their looks,” says Ganesh Hegde. He adds that the food on set is not very healthy, which is why choreographers have fitness issues. Ganesh, who’s recognized as among the fittest choreographers, stresses that he’s had to make quite a few changes to stay fit. “Usually, because of our schedules, we eat late in the night. Earlier, I had late night dinners. But I’ve given that up because it’s not good for health. Even if I have to eat something, I choose a salad or fruits. I work out three-four days a week. I have small meals at two hours’ duration. I don’t eat food served on the sets and carry something from home,” he adds.
DOES WEIGHT HINDER WORK?
Saroj Khan answers in the negative. “Weight is no hindrance, I can choreograph with ease. However, if I get the chance, I’d like to lose weight,” she emphasises. But Geeta says, “There are many things I want to do, but my health issues don’t allow me to do all of them,” she states.
- How the Guide songs helped the film find a distributor
- I was tense about putting my hand around Madhuri’s waist-Ranbir Kapoor
- I call my dad Bappuji as he likes Mahatma Gandhi-Shruti Haasan
- When Fukrey crew got a spotted visitor on the sets
- Aamir Khan to join B-Town’s famous games night?
- SRK makes Kamal Haasan copy do the Chammak Challo dance step?
- Katrina Kaif wants to be dancing queen for Bang Bang?
- What good would Dilip Kumar’s love be without Madhubala?-Priyanka Chopra
- Ayushmann Khurrana behaving like Shah Rukh Khan?
- Ranbir loves Farah Khan’s prawn curry, yakhni pulao, keema pav