‘Dil To Pagal Hai’ marks its Silver Jubilee today. For a film that portrays the dance troupe and their intrinsic relationship, Shiamak Davar was the perfect fit to helm the choreography for one of the greatest Indian dance musicals ever produced. ‘Dil To Pagal Hai’ portrays the love lives of dancers in a dance troupe and Davar was roped in to give the fabulous dance sequences his signature choreographic touch. As the film marks 25 years of its release, celebrated choreographer Shiamak Davar reflects on working with legendary filmmaker Yash Chopra, and choreographing Shah Rukh Khan, Karisma Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit in a candid conversation.
Shiamak Davar and the late Yash Chopra had a special relation and a mutual respect and appreciation for the love of art and cinema. Solemnizing this momentous association, Shiamak reminsces about a distinct memory he shared with the cinema veteran and showman. On speaking about the same, Shiamak said, “Yash uncle wanted me to work on his projects since Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. However, I had initially said no to him as I thought my western style of choreography would never be accepted. But his faith in me was so strong that he approached me again for ‘Dil To Pagal Hai’ and the rest was history!”
On being asked how he reflects on the iconic film’s anniversary, the ace choreographer stated, “It still feels like ‘Dil To Pagal Hai’ was like just 10-15 years ago. Who could imagine it was 25 years ago! It turned out to stand out as one of the great films for choreography and dance. I am very grateful to God and Yash uncle that his faith in me was so strong.”
Interestingly, there’s also a lot of trivia that the audience isn’t aware of. Shiamak divulged, “Interestingly, Yash uncle also said that I should have been in filmmaking. Uncle was also instrumental in having Mohabbat Kar Le Re in the film as we can see Madhuri rehearse it!” On how the Chopra family made him feel comfortable, he added, “He (Yash Chopra) and wife Pam (Pamela) aunty made me feel like home, it was another experience I cannot forget.
Did you know Shah Rukh Khan was the reason Shiamak did the film? The superstar was having dinner with the dance virtuoso when they discussed for over an hour on how his western style won’t work for the film. The superstar went on to convince him and Shiamak expressed his gratitude for the same!
‘Dil To Pagal Hai’ went on to be the highest grossing Indian film of 1997 and the film continues to be one of the best musicals that the Indian Entertainment industry has produced. Cinephiles, dance enthusiasts, and music lovers can’t get enough of it!