Showing some moves

Choreographer Shampa Gopi Krishna speaks about her foray into contemporary dance and carrying her father’s legacy. She talks to us about choreography and her dance moves…

It is not enough to be born in a family of creatively artistic people. You have to have that talent and make a name for yourself to in that field. If you have seen Shampa Gopi Krishna‘s work, the realisation comes to your mind that you have to hone the talent passed down through your family. Daughter of the acclaimed actor, dancer and choreographer Gopi Krishna who was seen as a brilliant exponent of Kathak, Shampa has forged her way as a upcoming talented choreographer, courtesy dance reality shows like Jhalak Dikhlaja, Nach Baliye, Dance India Dance and Nach Le Ve. In fact, Jhalak gave her the much needed push to go ahead with her dreams. She was the choreographer for Sushant Singh Rajput and Gurmeet Chowdhury. For those who loved the awe-inspiring song Ang Laga De from Ramleela, it is Shampa who choreographed it. She speaks to The Punekar about her traditions and her own outlook towards dance and choreographer.
You have such an enviable dance background. Do share your memories of making it into a profession.
When you are born in such a family, you have no other option than go into dance. My father encouraged me towards studies, as he did not get much education and did not want his daughter to be like him. He felt I should stand up for myself. But then my parents passed away when I was young and I had this mental block to do anything but dance. In colleges, I actually started participating in fests and competition or group dances. That’s when I realised I want to make a career in dancing.
Why did you not into traditional Indian dance form like your father?
My father was not of the traditional thinking. Though he was into Kathak, he broke traditions and put his own style into it. That is why he became famous. He became a spokesperson for breaking traditions. When I did western dances, it got people asking me the same thing about legacy. But I know he would have been proud of me.
Your foray into dance competition, especially Jhalak Dikhlaja has been very good. How was the experience?
In these competitions, I tried to do something different. I did not want to give into convention. So, it was an amazing experience and taught me a lot. It made me think and do more. I got to challenge myself, as I was with those who are less capable. The challenge was to present myself as a teacher and a performer.
You recently choreographed for Ramleela. Are you picky about choreographing for movies?
I was also part of the Dhoom 3 song Malang. I could not complete it as I had exerted myself. I like to do something different and I have never done before. I have may ideas in my mind, but I do not want to do the regular stuff. I would also like to do music videos. I want to do things where my creative hunger is met.
According to you, what is your strength, in terms of dance?
If you speak about films, then it has to be theatrical dance or larger than life. I also like contemporary.
What about competition?
Change is the only constant new thing. It gives you opportunity to showcase your talent. Right now, everyone is a choreographer and there are more choreographers than others in the industry. All are talented in some way. It is the way you think or execute things which gives the choreographer an upper-hand.
What next?
I am looking forward to performing in films, even acting. I have been getting offers.