On International Dance Day, dancer and choreographer Miral Durlabhji comes to Chennai and talks about his journey so far
As a four-year-old child, only Miral Durlabhji’s mother may have seen what a breathtaking dancer in the making he was. All that changed a year later when he joined the Junior Dance Company with Shiamak Davar, and now he is the Creative Director for SHIAMAK Dance Education Program in Mumbai who is visiting Chennai to conduct a workshop at Taj Coromandel on International Dance Day this weekend. Miral is also the same 12-year-old lad we saw in the popular Bollywood song Chak Dhoom Dhoom Chak from the 1997 movie Dil Toh Pagal Hai alongside Shah Rukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit.
Since then he has worked with the likes of Amitabh Bachchan, Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai. In fact recently, the 33-year-old dancer and choreographer was also seen alongside actor Varun Dhawan performing at the IPL 2018 opening ceremony. “Not many know that Dhawan was my student at Shiamak Davar’s dance academy,” he says. Starting as a five-year-old, Miral has been working with Shiamak Davar’s troupe for over 28 years now, the latter acting as his mentor, even till date.
After the initial classes, he was selected in the Junior Dance Company, which is now the Junior One Year Programme (JOY) where only 30-40 kids are selected from India and around the world, as a part of Shiamak Davar’s academy. “I also had the opportunity to learn ballet and salsa with some of the best in the world. I trained in ballet under Tushna Dallas and took examinations conducted by the Royal Academy of Dance, London and Imperial Society of Teachers Dancing,” he shares.
A trained salsa dancer, Miral assisted world-renowned Katya Varshilas of Antonio Banderas-starrer Take the Lead fame, during her tour of India. Miral has been part of television for a long time and it all started when ad-maker Prahlad Kakkar saw him dancing at the National Games in Pune in 1994, dressed as the mascot ‘Raju’. The ad-maker was immediately entertained and impressed enough to feature him in his Good Day biscuits advertisement and since then Miral has appeared in over 100 television commercials.
Ask him about his most memorable experience as a dancer and immediately he says, “Undoubtedly, the Unforgettable Tour in 2008, in USA. We toured with Amitabh Bachchan and got to interact and travel around with him every day. That experience is easily on the top of my list,” he admits.
Dancing through the generations and with a new crop of young dancers, Miral still wants to continue working with established actors who have proved their talent in dance, like Hrithik Roshan, Shahid Kapoor, Katrina Kaif and Aishwarya Bachchan.
However, among the new crop, he thinks Varun Dhawan, Ishaan Khattar and Alia Bhatt show promise and are definitely the next big dancers to look forward to. We do heed his predictions; after all he has trained them and has seen them grow as dancers. “While Varun trained with me for a longer time at Shiamak’s academy, Ishaan took the One Year Program, an intense 12-hour course every day, learning over 10 styles,” he says, adding that the day he danced with Varun at the IPL 2018 opening ceremony, he witnessed a “full circle of life”.
With so much on his plate, he still makes sure to relax by going to the gym, swim and watch loads of movies. “At the moment, I am working in Bengaluru for the Summer Funk. There’s another project lined up, called Band Baaja Dance which incorporates acting and dance and is being held all over Bengaluru this summer,” he shares.
Miral Durlabhji will be in Chennai at Taj Coromandel to teach a one-hour dance workshop which will be a mix of hip-hop and Bollywood dance moves.
Date: Sunday, April 29
Venue: Taj Coromandel
Time: 10:00 am - 12:00 noon
Price: INR 1000 all-inclusive (includes light refreshments)
Call : +91 44 66002827 for more details