Ace choreographer Geeta Kapur says the awareness created around the art of dance, courtesy reality TV shows, has brought respect and acceptance to it as a career option.
In the past few decades, from assisting ace choreographer and filmmaker Farah Khan to becoming a recognised choreographer herself, Geeta — often referred as ‘Geeta Ma’ — has found prominence. She feels the opportunities that dance reality TV shows provide, have helped people look up to dance as a "respectable job".
"The biggest change that I have witnessed over the years, is the acceptability of dancing as a field. That was not there earlier… Also, respectability. So, acceptability and respectability of dance have made a major change in this field," Geeta said.
"The reason behind this change is the reality TV platforms which have brought in awareness for the people to see it as a respectable job. Earlier, we didn’t have a platform to say anything about dance. It wasn’t even considered as a respectable field.
"The awareness that reality shows have brought in, makes it a respectable field," added Geeta, who has choreographed songs for popular Bollywood films like "Happy New Year", "Ghajini" and "Saathiya".
Geeta, who has been part of various seasons of popular show "Dance India Dance", says parents have now started encouraging their children to participate in dance-based shows.
"When today parents come up to us and say, ‘My kid wants to be a choreographer or dancer’,it really motivates us. They are more enthusiastic. There is more push from the parents’ side… Encouragement, I would say, which is very nice to look at."
"Earlier that thing wasn’t there that much. There is more passion coming from the parents. So the kids are getting motivated in a better way," added the 43-year-old.
Geeta, who is a trained classical dancer, feels that dancers should be versatile enough to try all dancing styles.
"We have this thinking that the youngsters mainly prefer western dance forms. But I don’t feel that. It is important for a dancer to be versatile. They need to have an open mind towards different forms of dancing."
"If you want to excel in a particular style, that’s even better because you are passionate towards it. But if you dabble in everything, it’s good to be knowledgeable about other styles," she said.
Geeta also feels that due to the realistic approach of filmmakers, dance is getting neglected from movies.
While appreciating the efforts made by Remo D’souza and Farah Khan of making dance-oriented films, Geeta explained: "There are very few films that actually relate to dance. Now scripts are changing and have become more real. So there’s no dance."
"There are very few films made in this genre, because people now want to see more real films. So, somewhere, dancing has gone out of the window. There is a need to make more dance-based films. It’s in our culture to do dance."
"Bollywood has always been known about singing and dancing. So that time will come back. It’s just a phase of realistic cinema that we are seeing right now," Geeta added.
On the career front, Geeta is currently seen as a judge on the new Sony Entertainment Television show "Super Dancer" alongside actress Shilpa Shetty and filmmaker Anurag Basu.
Talking about the show, she said: "Every time a new show comes up, it brings a new platform and an opportunity, which is very rare in our country. Now every channel has something related to dance and people are getting more and more opportunities, which is fun."