American choreographer sets his sights on Indian cinema

Hyderabad, April 18 (IANS) After enthralling US audiences with his unique fusion of contemporary ballet with classical Indian and Bollywood dances, American choreographer Gregory Glade Hancock has set his sights on Indian cinema.

Hancock plans to bring his dance company to India on a concert tour of various cities. He is also in talks with some filmmakers who are keen to have him choreograph some special numbers.

“We would like to bring to India contemporary ballet fused with the Indian feelings. We will probably do two different programmes – one western style and the other an Indian style dance,” Hancock told IANS in an interview.

Hancock, who is interested in Indian culture and music, is currently visiting India as member of a trade delegation led by Indianapolis mayor Greg Ballard.

In Hyderabad, he called on some Telugu filmmakers, including well-known director K. Viswanath, who was impressed with his shows in the US and suggested he choreograph a song for one of his films.

Hancock heads Gregory Glade Dance Theatre (GHDT), a professional dance company based in Carmel, Indiana. It combines modern dance, ballet, pointe, ethnic dance forms, and theatre to create a unique style of movement and sense of drama. GHDT also works extensively with music and themes of India and has created a unique fusion of modern dance, classical dance of India and Bollywood style of dance.

With choreography set to songs in Hindi, Telugu, Tamil and Punjabi, Hancock’s team has performed at various events in the US like Independence Day, Diwali celebrations, wedding receptions and also at the American Telugu Association National Convention.

As the founder, artistic director and principal choreographer for GHDT, Hancock has created over 120 dance works showcasing many different ethnicities, genres and styles. His works include those based on Shah Rukh Khan-Aishwarya Rai-Madhuri Dixit starrer “Devdas”, Aamir Khan’s “Lagaan” and other movies from Hindi and regional cinema.

Hancock also runs a dance school with 100 students, including Indian Americans. “Our dancers are initially trained as classical ballet dancers and then we have modern training in ethnic dance forms,” he said.

He has been coming to India for the last four years to teach at four dance schools in Mumbai. He also plans to meet Madhuri Dixit, who recently opened a dance academy.

“Dance is not huge and popular in America. It is more popular in India. You have a big history of dance,” he said.

S.V. Subba Rao, a cine artist, who is Hancock’s coordinator in India, said shows were planned in Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Pune and Goa during GHDT’s tour.

(Mohammed Shafeeq can be contacted at [email protected])

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