Sandeepa Dhar has established a name for herself in showbiz with some of the most impactful roles in films and shows like 'Heropanti', 'Dabangg 2', 'Abhay', 'MumBhai', and the recently released 'Mai'. But, not many know that the actress is also an fabulous and established dancer and has performed across the globe for the masses.
On the occasion of International Dance Day, The Free Press Journal caught up with Sandeepa for an exclusive tête-à-tête, during which the actress spoke at length about her love for dance, her experiences, her Broadway musical, and more. Excerpts:
What does dance mean to you?
For me, dance is love, it's life, it's like breathing. It makes me feel alive, it is the reason I live. Without dance, I would kind of cease to exist because it's such an important aspect of who I am as an individual.
What are the dance forms that you are trained in?
I started off with Bharatnatyam and learnt it for seven years. Then, I learned jazz and contemporary, and a little bit of ballroom dancing, a little bit of belly, and some folk dance as well.
How were you introduced to dance?
When I started dancing, I must have been three or four years old, so I don't really remember what is it that made me want to danc. My parents were huge lovers of music, so a lot of music was played in my house. Something in that must have made me want to dance.
But as an adult, the one person who inspired me to dance was none other than Madhuri Dixit. Watching her dance made me want to do it too. I realised I want to perform and make others feel the same way as I felt about her.
What is your most memorable experience as a dancer?
My favourite memory would be the first show of my international Broadway musical 'West Side Story'. We were performing in a housefull auditorium in Paris and I was super nervous as I had never done it before. It was all dark around except for the stage and there was pin-drop silence. But when the music played, everything just ceased to exist for me, and I performed. And then, there was this roaring applause from the audience, and that feeling is something I cannot articulate. I don't think I'll ever get over that moment in my life.
What life lessons did you learn from dance?
Dance has taught me to think about the present, and not worry about the past or future. It has also brought a lot of discipline in my life, and a certain amount of empathy and awareness too.
Dance has always helped me deal with my problems. It essentially works like a catharsis for me. Whenever I feel low or there is something that's bothering me, I throw myself into dance, and my problems just seem to vanish. I am a very introverted person and I cannot open up about my worries to people. But dancing is one way in which I can release all the stress and tension. So it is more like my best friend or companion who has been with me through thick and thin.
One artist with whom you would like to perform?
Not just as a dancer, but as an overall individual too, I am huge fan of Hrithik Roshan, and it would be a privilege for me to shake a leg with him. I admire the way he leads his life and how hardworking and earnest he is. He truly inspires me.
We haven't seen you dancing much in Bollywood...
I am always on the lookout for a dance film, and I hope somebody writes one and comes to me with it. I am dying to do it! So if anyone's making a dance film and reading this, then please, please cast me in it!