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    Feb 2010


    Default "I have choreographed many fight sequences for my shows"

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    says actor Neil Bhatt who laughs off his latest injury news and talks about how he got interested in dance and choreography much before acting.

    Many of us won't be aware of the fact that Neil Bhatt who plays Lakshman in Sagar Arts' Ramayan on Zee TV has a zeal for dance and martial arts. We got in touch with the actor to know more about his passion for dancing and martial arts.

    You were into choreography before entering the field of acting. What made you choose choreography?
    I started dancing before getting into choreography and I was inspired from my sister Shikha. She was learning classical dancing and she used to perform on stage. I used to go along with her for the shows and then one day I thought that why can't I dance like her! One day on the occasion of Teacher's day in my school, me and one of my friend decided to perform. We performed on Humraaz's song 'Bardaasht' for our Teacher's and got a very good response. I was in Std., 9Th that time and it was the first time that I had performed on stage in front of all. That is when dancing became the passion of my life. When I stepped into college I got a chance to choreograph for my college festival and we won it. Since then I started taking choreography seriously and I won awards for dance in many festivals like Yuva, Malhar, Mood I, etc.

    There were recent media reports which claimed that you were recently injured while practicing martial arts. Your fans are wondering if you are fine.
    No, I was talking about an injury which happened long back. I was injured when I was performing for a college festival known as 'Malhar'. I had to reach the destination in spite of the heavy rains. When I had to cross the huge puddle nearby my building I jumped and sprained my leg. That's the only injury which I sustained. Nothing bad has happened to me recently. It's just a miscommunication which has happened and I am perfectly alright.

    And how did acting happen to you?
    While doing choreography, I realized that this is the field I should be in. My parents encouraged me to try out acting so I thought about it. I always wanted to be an actor and the response of the people even motivated me to get into the field of acting. So, in 2006 I started giving auditions for Ads, Television and Films. In 2008 I bagged a role in 'Arslaan' which was my Television debut on Sony.

    You love martial arts. When did you get into this art form and why?
    Being a dancer, I have always been attracted to all these things which are related to physical exercise. I have learned gymnastics for 4 years in my childhood days and I have also been a Karate student. I have recently developed a keen interest towards Capoeira (a martial art form) and learnt it from Baba Capoeira specialist. I feel quite lucky that I got trained by the only trainer in India who went to Israel and learnt this art form for 14 yrs then he returned back to India to spread this art over here. I got to learn a lot from him and after Ramayan; I wish to continue learning this art from him.

    Does knowing martial arts help you with your battle scenes in Ramayan?
    Yes, it does! We did so many scenes without using a harness. So, it helps having knowledge of the body physics which is about knowing the angles of landing while jumping and all. Having knowledge of martial arts, I got to know about the body physics as well. The kicks and stunts become more effective if one knows martial arts. When I was in my 11th Std., I used to injure myself while trying out martial arts. I used to practice it on my bed and sometimes the bed also used to break. Being a choreographer, I used to learn it all by myself so that I could teach someone else. So, I continued doing it on my own and got injured and broke many beds. Now, I know how to do a stunt as I have gained a lot of knowledge by doing so. I have even choreographed many fight sequences for my shows including Ramayan.

    Has there been a time when you have performed a stunt on your show without using a body double?
    I make sure that none of my scenes will be done by my body doubles before signing any show. I make sure that I perform the stunts all by myself though there is a risk involved in it.

    The worst injury you have ever got due to dance or martial arts?
    I was practicing the 'Earthworm' stunt all by myself during my college days. This stunt was very new at that time and hardly anyone knew how to do it. I used to practice that on my own. I didn't receive any serious injuries but I landed on my chest and chin. I was in state of shock for 2-3 hrs.

    What are your future plans about dance? Would you like to take part in any dance reality show?
    After Ramayan, I would like to take part in dance reality shows. I would love to be a part of 'Jhalak Dikhla Jaa : Dancing with the Stars' and 'Nach Baliye'. I am a trained hip-hop dancer with inputs from International choreographers.



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