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Pachtaoge choreographer Rajit Dev speaks up for background dancers in the Bollywood industry

Bollywood

We often love seeing our favorite actors dancing to peppy Bollywood numbers during starry award nights. But how many of us, go beyond the actors and notice the background dancers. Who in all probability, is more enthusiastic than the actors? Pachtaoge choreographer Rajit Dev, who is known for his work in the songs ‘Pachtaoge’ and ‘Tehas Nehas,’ says that these dancers need to be cherished more.  

“I became a choreographer because I worked as a dancer for a good ten years and assisted for five years. I’m proud to be a dancer. From the age of 18, I’ve traveled to so many countries that no other profession offers. There are a lot of good things that you get by being a dancer in Bollywood.” 

Adding further, “But a few things should change for dancers. Starting from the hygiene on the sets, dressing room. This is in a very bad condition during stage events. I believe dancers are as talented as any actor. So, they should not be looked down upon. The next time, after an award show, you should thank the dancers on the podium. They were the ones running the show. From rehearsals, technicals, and no sleep, back-to-back work. Dancers put in so much effort. These dancers deserve better recognition and a better pay scale.” He speaks. 

Being a dancer is not easy, emphasizes Rajit. “The most amount of hard work put in an award show is by the dancers. The number of acts they have to remember is way too many. These dancers have to perform with actors, do quick costume changes, and manage the props. There are huge props on stage which the dancers manoeuver with great poise. These props are heavy, and it needs great skill for a dancer to make them look good on stage. There’s no room for error. Mistakes do happen, but the way they cover-up, only they know. The audience will never come to know,” he says. 

Pachtaoge choreographer Rajit Dev on Dancers:

Pachtaoge choreographer Rajit Dev on Dancers

But the hard work that they put in can be rewarding as well, says Rajit. “Nothing is easy in Bollywood. You have to work hard towards your goal. But seeing the hard work that Shahid Kapoor and the late Sushant Singh Rajput did and became actors from being dancers, is inspiring. It has given confidence to many dancers that they can also become actors or take up any other work in Bollywood,” he says. 

Rajit admits that having background dancers behind them helps actors too. “I think India is well-known for Bollywood, and when people say Bollywood, they often refer to big Bollywood songs and dance numbers. I’ll share my personal experience. I’ve toured to more than 35 countries, and every time I meet different people, all they say, ‘India? Bollywood?’ and they start dancing! So, Bollywood is all about big dance numbers with lots of Bollywood dancers. When there’s so much of backup, the actors always feel pumped, and it gives them immense confidence,” he says. 

We also see a lot of foreign dancers today, and the choreographer says that this is a good move. “I think the whole white dancers being used in a Bollywood song started when we started filming a song in a Mumbai studio, while, in the film, the song is supposed to happen in New York or on the streets of London. So foreign dancers were often called to work, and I think it’s common now to use them in any song sequence. You can see many foreign students, tourists in India. These dancers are very well-trained dancers from all parts of the world. So, there’s always a cultural exchange of arts, which is great,” he says. 

So, this was all on Pachtaoge choreographer Rajit Dev. Stay connected to Bollywood Hush for more news and updates. 

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