Longinus Fernandez choreographing Bollywood Heros:Interview

The remarkable craft in Slumdog Millionaire continues to bag the honours. Choreographer Longinus Fernandez is recently honoured by the Astaire for the song Jai ho… “I am enthralled from with in and I am happy that I could reach till here.

Longinus Fernandez choreographing Bollywood Heros: Interview

The remarkable craft in Slumdog Millionaire continues to bag the honours. Choreographer Longinus Fernandez is recently honoured by the Astaire for the song Jai ho…I am enthralled from with in and I am happy that I could reach till here. I owe my success to my family who stood by me through thick and thin. I would also thank Farah Khan for believing in me, supporting me and also recommending me to people. I know deep down her heart she is more than happy for my success and of course Danny Boyle”, Longinus expresses.
Longinus Fernandez -Slumdog Millionaire
Longinus Fernandez -Slumdog Millionaire
Listen to Jay Ho Online
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Jai ho… was shot at CST station leading to many challenges for Longinus. “It was not only about dancing but it was about man management as well. There were 3000 people on the platform and we had to co-ordinate all of them. We had limited time to shoot between 12 to 5am in the morning. Getting people together and putting them in the place was not easy at all. I am glad that Danny sir believed in my kind of skill and ability”, He shares his experience of working with Danny Boyle.

He will be soon choreographing actor Christ Kattan in the foreign film ‘Bollywood Heroes’. “Christ Kattan is like a live wire. When we met for the first time we instantly got connected. He liked my style and he told me humbly that I am not a great dancer, in fact I can’t move to save myself but I can give the needed energy”. ‘Bollywood Heroes’ is due for release in August. “I will also be working for a musical documentary in the year end. It is based on the slum life in our country. It is about what music means to them and how they look at other’s B’day parties and wish to dance”, he briefs.

After working as choreographer in Dil Ka Doctor he joined Farah khan as associate choreographer in Border. “That did not make me feel smaller. It made me all the more strong. I got to learn so much from her. At that time her mother had a bypass surgery. Initially JP Dutta was skeptical about me so he decided to delay the shoot for few days. But after two days he allowed me to do it. Farah appreciated my choreography in the film”, he recalls.

His exceptional choreography got recognition in Jhalak Dikhlaja. He was contesting in Jhalak’s first season with Shweta Salve.  “I am thankful to Jhalak and Shweta. Because of her I was able to show my dancing ability to the whole world. I got recognition as somebody who is not only choreographer but also a performing artiste which is rare in our country. Choreography, good sense of timing and good presentation makes a good performer. Shaimak Davar, Terence Lewis and Ganesh Hedge are great performers and now I see myself as one of them”, he elaborates.

He also has the signature steps of the albums Lift Kare De and Balle Balle Ho Gayee Hai to his credit. “Great Saroj Khan had started it long back while I was in process of growing. I realized that it is all about clicking with the audience. During Ganpati and Janmashtami, When I look out of my window at the passing procession and I see all the commoners doing that signature step it feels great. That one step has to be very simple so that everyone can do it effortlessly”, he explains.

According to him, “Choreography is not about one-two-three & four… with some flamboyant dance steps. It is about understanding your artiste, making him look good and pleasing to the eyes. “People say Sunny Deol is not a good dancer but he danced amazingly in the song Mera dil le gayee koi kammo kidhar…all the credit goes to Ganesh Acharya for utilizing the actor’s strengths to the ultimate level”, he reminds. But he also believes in starry magic. “If you remove Madhuri from ek do teen…or Shridevi from Kate nahin kat te…it won’t be that fascinating. Today’s style of dancing may not come easy to Rishi Kapoor but the input that comes from him is the killer” he elucidates. So far he has worked with many prominent actors of the industry but he aspires to make Shehenshah of the Bollywood dance to his tunes. “I want to choreograph Mr. Amitabh Bacchan. I agree if you say it’s too late but I have got something in store for him”, he makes his only wish.

It is not about the length of the journey but the strength of it. He has been constantly enriching his journey and today he is the only Indian to be honoured by Astaire.

-Deepa Mishra (Sampurn)

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