Sandip Soparrkar is a trained and qualified Ballroom Dance Teacher and Choreographer. He is the first from India to be certified by the ‘Ballroom Dance Teachers Training School’ in Bonn, Germany. Mr Soparrkar was honoured with the National Achievement Award in the field of choreography and dance in New Delhi last year. Sandip was appointed as official judge for several television reality shows. The choreographer is also qualified to teach all Latin American and Standard Ballroom Dances up to championship level. In an interview with our Group Editor Vaidehi Sachin, Sandip Soparrkar speaks about the love ballet presented by him in Indo-Korean style depicting the love story of an Indian princess and a Korean prince through their dance performance.
Can you elaborate about your recent dance musical?
Well, this musical was especially made for the launch of Posco a Korean steel plant which was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of Korea recently. Many people were aware about this musical performance which I was working on. People requested me to organise it for public and I am pleased to present it.
What was the objective behind presenting this Indo-Korean love story?
The motive was to show that the love between the two beautiful countries is not new and is existing for more than 3000 years. Some relations are built long before we even realise.
Are you a part of Korean cultural centre?
No. I am not but would love to display it to the Korean cultural centre.
How did the concept of an Indo-Korean love story come to your mind?
I remember visiting the tomb of King Kim Suro and Indian Princess Sriratna in Korea few years back when I visited the country while choreographing a Bollywood film. The visit made a great impact in my mind. When an offer came to show the attraction between the two countries, I could think of nothing else but this sensational love story.
Jesse Randhawa and you presented the royal era of 78 AD India in your Indo-Korean dance musical show. Who assisted you for conducting research, selecting costumes and to choreograph for that era?
I am pleased to say that it took me five months to conduct this research work. I had read several books on this topic and interacted with few historians which enabled me to develop the story. The script was written by me. After the conclusion of research work, Dilip and Pooja Surana helped me get the music in order. I had to source the Korean music from Korea. It’s been a wonderful experience putting all aspects together. For choreography and costumes too we had to conduct research as the costumes have evolved with changing times so has the dance. However, in this case, technology had eased our woes.
Varsha Usgaonkar was very innovative and outstanding in her character in enchanted love. How did she join the group and whose idea was it to make her part of this musical?
All of us are aware that Varsha is a great dancer. She has been learning dance with me for more than two years now. When I was thinking of who should be the narrator of this unique love story, I thought about several people and auditioned many of them. Then I zeroed in on Varsha and after auditioning her I did not have to rethink. She possesses looks, grace, acting and dancing talent.
Do you agree that Varsha was the show stopper in the entire musical? Her appearance had added charm to the show.
I totally agree she was the attraction of the show. As a narrator, one has a very significant role to play. You take the audience with you into each scene.
Why is the audience for theatre and musicals diminishing in India these days?
I thinking the theatre audience is dwindling as theatre artists lack originality. We copy Broadway musicals and never think about innovative ideas. Sponsors too shy away from investing and don’t come forward to experiment. This was my 6th musical and it was an original concept.
What is your message for dance lovers?
Please read and dig into history and mythology. It has plenty to offer and we can learn many things. It will keep us grounded too. Don’t copy what you see. Think from year heart. A dancer is one who loves being in love with dance.
I would like to mention that this musical brought forward four questions in my mind which I left for the audience to think.
A- If we are what we are today because of our history then why we don’t promote inter-caste community wedding even today? Sriratna married a man belonging to different culture and religion.
B- How many children like Sriratna can talk to their parents freely about their feelings?
C- How many parents listen to their children and allow them to follow their heart and marry someone of their choice?
D-How many Kim Suros are there who marry for love without looking at their partner’s background and financial status?
I believe our history and traditions have taught several things in a very subtle way. We have to view it in the correct light.