The popular Shakti Mohan, who is a dancer-choreographer as well as a TV personality, told IANS that even if destiny is not in her favour, she won’t change paths to become an actress or filmmaker. Mohan earned her success in the world of dance with independent work.
"When I started dancing in my childhood, say 20 years ago, I had no clue about anything about my profession -- whether I want to be a choreographer or a dancer.
"I just knew that dance gives me a happiness that nothing else can offer me," Shakti, who won the second season of reality TV show "Dance India Dance", told IANS.
She believes in improving her skill as a dancer despite knowing that the career comes with a time limit.
"Back then, the life of a dancer was that either you choreograph for Bollywood actors in films, or you work as a background dancer. I was fine with both the choices.
"Tomorrow if my destiny gives me a tough time as a choreographer, I will not change my profession to a filmmaker or actress. I will still keep dancing because that's when I am alive," she said.
Shakti choreographed her first Bollywood song "Naino wale" for Sanjay Leela Bhansali's film Padmaavat. It was a learning experience for her.
"Entering a Sanjay Leela Bhansali film set is like going to a film school where all the students are learning under a genius and a visionary. Sanjay sir is an institution himself," she said.
Choreographing for Deepika Padukone was quite challenging for her, recounted Shakti, adding: "Since it was a period film and Deepika played a queen who is poised and graceful, I could not make that character move like a regular dancer.
"It was my first film and I understood the different technical aspects of on-screen choreography, and that is very different from our stage performance."
Being the sister of popular Bollywood playback singer Neeti Mohan, Shakti has watched the struggle of an artiste and the entertainment industry very closely.
"My sister has always encouraged me to live my dream. In bad times when I felt that let's work and earn some money so that I can give a good life to my parents, my sister only stopped thinking like that and said‘ 'I will support our family financially, you focus on dance,”
"I think without the support of our family, we can't stand so strong," she added.
Shakti has appeared in several dance shows like "India's Dancing Superstar", "Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa" and "Dance India Dance Super Moms". She now appears as one of the captains in the TV reality show "Dance Plus : Season 4", which airs on Star Plus.
She worked as an assistant choreographer in the film Dhoom3 for the song "Kamli".
Though as a woman Shakti does not celebrate the idea of objectifying women in item songs, she featured in the item song "Aa re Pritam pyaare" in the film Rowdy Rathore.
Explaining the rationale, she said: "My sole reason behind appearing on that song was to grab the opportunity of working with Prabhudheva.
"He is a dance icon of our country. I was also in awe of the film industry back then (2012). Now, I am fortunately in a better position and know that I do not have to chase Bollywood to live my dream of a dancer."
Picture Courtesy –IANS