Sudeesh Nair takes Bollywood to America

 Sudeesh Nair takes Bollywood to America

In the world of dance, we get to travel a lot and meet various types of people from all age groups, religious beliefs, shape and size too. When one is teaching dance and running a dance institute the interaction doubles up even more. Today I feel absolute proud to bring to you Sudeesh Nair, an extremely talented dancer and now a renowned international dance teacher based in Texas , USA.
Sudeesh came to learn dance from me at an impressionable age of 16 and from being a student, to a troupe dancer to being my assistant choreographer, later moving on as an independent choreographer and now establishing his own dance institute in the USA, this young and dynamic man has come a long way. I had a chat with my bachcha (like I call him) and interviewing him was very emotional for me, here are excerpts from the chat I had with this bundle of talent:

 Tell me about your dance training and your gurus?
I started training at seven in the Bharatanatyam dance style with Guru Kalamandalam Rama, a teacher in Kerala and conducted my Arangetram at the prestigious Guruvayur temple by the age of 10. The next phase of dance training started in Mumbai for Bollywood dancing with the Late Salim Hamid sir before I joined you for learning the 10 Ballroom dance styles. I learnt Modern Contemporary dance style with Terence Lewis sir.

Sudheesh Nair in different dance poses

Which is your favourite dance style, and why?
Choosing a favourite dance style is difficult as all of them are so close to my heart. But if I have to pick one of them then I would say the partner dancing, the reason being it helps you to understand the art of co-ordination as you are not dancing alone. Also, it has a certain discipline and techniques to follow which also educates me as a dancer and a teacher.
Bharatanatyam is also my favorite as I feel that it has helped me to create a very strong base as a dancer and performer as at a very early age, I got over the difficulty of coordinating the hands and legs together, I had to express and make the audience understand a story without lip-synching it is like a monologue of about 10 to15 minutes live on stage with dance movements in addition.

Why did you choose to leave India?
The real reason was to travel and see places in America, soon I realized that I have something to offer to the people living here away from the homeland and also to the local Americans. I felt like the respect that you receive here as a teacher or as an expert of your art is commendable, this keeps me going and also helps me to push my limits as the returns are very encouraging. Also being in a foreign country educates me about different cultures and dance styles in their pure form as they try harder to stay close to their roots.

Tell me your most memorable experience of Bollywood.
I have had the opportunity to work with and choreograph for some of the biggest names in Bollywood. I have worked with Priyanka Chopra, Bipasha Basu, Shazahn Padamsee, Ajay Devgan, Hrithik Roshan, Chitrangada Singh, Salman Khan, Karishma Tanna, Kavita Kaushik, Nakuul Mehta and the list is endless.
Working with each star has been an experience for me but yes a few I will always remember. I was in college when Sir you called me for a last-minute shoot, I had no clue of anything on the set, I practiced the steps with the girl assistant and then came the shock when Bipasha Basu entered and held my hand to start the dance. It was the first time a woman ever touched me and I recollect how I just froze and forgot every move.
Working with Priyanka Chopra was also something very special. I was just out of college, my first memory is the first day when I was getting ready to practice with Priyanka Chopra, I was nervous and I did not know what was going to happen. But when she came, she made it so very casual her first sentence was “Who’s the handsome boy I am going to practice with” she came and hugged me and treated me with a piece of chocolate. It made my work very easy I could interact with her much better and teach her what was needed.
I can never forget my fan boy moment when I met Hrithik Roshan, I danced for him and he complemented me for my dancing skills, that is something I can never forget, The God of Dance praising my art is a memory etched in my heart forever.

Sudheesh Nair with choreographer Geeta Kapoor and actors Kavita Kapoor & Varun Dhawan

How different it is to teach dance in USA v/s India?
The experience of teaching dance in USA has been very different especially as we desis try harder to stay close to our roots by actively participating in local Diwali, Dussehra, Holi, Lohri functions and they try to also dance on songs which is related to the function and also are very specific regarding the lyrics in the songs too. In India, dance being a very booming industry due to the various dance reality shows they are very competitive so always want to push their limits.

What next…
The journey from India to USA has been literally very long in terms of work and struggle. But yes, it does not mean this is the end. I really want to work on putting together a systematic work environment as an artist, which will help other international artists to collaborate together and create. Covid19 has opened doors to this new system of online world also for the art and culture. I would like to explore this area more, which will help me to grow globally with me physically being absent in that region. I am in talks to collaborate with an artist in Bali from the United States of America and create something beautiful and different soon.






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