Thursday, February 4, 2010

Day 79: Terence Lewis

After a bit of thinking, I have decided to write today about Terence Lewis. Terence Lewis is an Indian choreographer who is currently the choreographer and judge of a TV show called Dance India Dance. The format of the show is such that the contestants are put under three groups, each under the mentorship of a choreographer who helps to choreograph their pieces every week. These choreographers also give their judgement of each performance every week. The final call on who is out and who is in is based on the decisions of a senior judge who is not part of the mentorship as well as by public votes.

I was thinking of writing about a few other things today but when I came back home, I happened to watch a recorded episode of Dance India Dance that I had missed. And every time I watch this show, and every time I watch Terence Lewis I am so super inspired. I think there is a lot to learn from that guy.

He is an incredibly smart choregrapher. He knows exactly what kind of dance or move to give whom. He knows how to leverage the strengths of the dancers in a way that outdoes the other choreographers. He knows how to get the best out of his dancers, stretching their potential week after week. I find that very inspiring because to be truly able to grow people is an incredible talent. To identify the strengths and to do things in such a way that these strengths are maximized is something I need to learn. I am making an attempt at it but I have to admit that I have made some horrible choices only to make things go from bad to worse.

Not just that he is a wonderful dancer and a smart choreographer, what really inspires me is his obvious passion for dance and his complete immersion into the artform. So much so that he would have some idea about even a remote form of traditional or folk dance from one region in India or the other. His knowledge in the technicalities and the wide range of dance forms in impressive. It impresses me so much because I am total jack of all trades. I can dance a bit, write a bit, paint a bit, act a bit, direct a bit etc. But I have never ever mastered anything. And I find that a major shortcoming in my own self. When I watch Terence talk so passionately about various dance forms, their technicalities, their origin etc. in such depth I am wowed. That's something I can't do about any single topic.

And I absolutely love his fairness in everything. I am a sucker for fairness and it really gets to me when I find something unfair, so much so that my hubby keeps repeating "Not everything in the world is fair and square". So when Terence Lewis gives his judgement on performances very very fairly,irrespective of whether the dancer is from his group or not, I am usually impressed. I dunno how to explain this but it makes me feel very good that someone, somewhere has made a fair judgement irrespective of the consequence. Sure a dance competition might sound trivial for such a matter, but it is still of a great conseqeunce to the people involved in it. To maintain a level head and make a clear judgement call without letting emotions come in the way is incredible.

In short, I am inspired. Very.

921 more to go.

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