• Friday, December 09, 2022

Arts and Culture

Delightful moves of a dancing diva

By: ASJAD NAZIR

Amruta Khanvilkar has made a stunning impact on ongoing Colors TV reality show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 10.

The actress has dazzled audiences every week with her delightful dance skills and impressive range as a performer. By combining diverse dance disciplines with powerful acting and masterful storytelling, she has regularly been in the top tier of a hugely competitive series. It adds to varied film and TV projects for the versatile star, who has been entertaining audiences for the last 16 years.

Eastern Eye caught up with her during an intense rehearsal schedule to speak about her interesting journey, Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa brilliance, stage performance and love for leaving the comfort zone.

How do you reflect on your action-packed acting journey?
I started working in 2006, and from then until now the journey has been amazing. I got to work in each medium of television, reality shows, films, and OTT (streaming platform). I am looking forward to big OTT releases the next year on Hotstar and with Applause, so am kicked about it. The journey has been amazing, be it regional cinema or super hit Hindi films. I am slowly and steadily carving a niche for myself. I always wanted to do Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa.

Your work has been diverse…
I’ve been very lucky because not a lot of people who dance well get the kind of offers I have got. And lots of actresses who can dance don’t get the right platform to showcase their dancing talent. But for me, it has always been dance, and acting together. So, I am
really glad about that.

Amruta Khanvilkar in Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 10

What made you want to participate in Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 10?
The only thing that made me participate in Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa was that I got to perform in front of Madhuri Dixit. She has been my idol since childhood, and to perform her song in front of her is a different high. It is a different pressure, but also a high altogether.

How much preparation did you do for the show?
Just before Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa was offered I was promoting my film Chandramukhi and performing on stage throughout Maharashtra. There was no special kind of preparation I had to do. I love to dance. It has always been a part of my daily routine, so I don’t think I had to prepare anything for that, but I shed a bit of weight.

What has the experience of being on the show been like?
The experience till now has been amazing. Recently, I got `101 as a ‘guru dakshina’ from Madhuri Dixit, so it’s getting better and better. It gives me immense pleasure to entertain my judges and audiences watching this show.

How much do all the positive reviews of your performance mean?
Comments and positive responses from judges matter to me. It influences the minds of the people who are watching the show; when Madhuri mam, Nora (Fatehi) and Karan (Johar) sir say something, it creates a huge impact on voting because the people understand what kind of dance and concept we are doing. And that’s very important.

Do you feel nervous before going on stage to perform?
I feel extremely nervous before going on stage. Lots of things keep going through my mind. I get all kinds of goosebumps and chills down my spine. I feel very nervous when my performance starts.

What is it like dancing in front of an all-time great like Madhuri Dixit?
Dancing in front of Madhuri Dixit gives a lot of pressure but a different kind of hype too. To perform her song in front of her was amazing. Sometimes, I think about what she must be thinking. We like to surprise her a lot. Recently, we performed Choli Ke Peeche and did a Bolly-Afro dance style, and she was pleasantly surprised. She said I didn’t know that this song can be carried out in such a way. So, this is something very great for me.

Why do you think Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 10 is so loved?
Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 10 is loved because people are getting to watch celebrities in a vulnerable light and getting to see them performing. The kind of personal stories every individual on the show has have been very relatable to the audience this time.

Who is your dance hero?
I love to watch Ranveer Singh dance. I love the way he moves. He has so much energy. Also, I love to watch Michael Jackson.

Do you have a favourite dance number from a movie?
I have a lot of favourite dance numbers such as Ek Do Teen, Mera Piya Ghar Aaya, Maar Daala, Kaahe Chhed Mohe, Tattad Tattad and Haye Rama. I love the way these songs are choreographed and performed.

If you could master something new in dance, what would it be?
I want to master a little bit of hip hop style because I come from a semi-classical background – the vibe, flow, and flexibility of hip hop is amazing I feel.

Which other reality TV shows would you like to attempt?
I have done Khatron ke Khiladi and Nach Baliye, so have participated in all the major ones as far as reality shows are concerned. I wanted to do Jhalak as that was the only one remaining. I wouldn’t mind doing game shows because I love playing games.

What is the plan going forward?
There are two big streaming platform releases on the way and an initiative called Amrit Kala
Studio, where I team up and collaborate with dancers and musicians, which I am planning to take ahead.

Do you like pushing yourself out of your comfort zone?
I love pushing myself out of my comfort zone. It is challenging and excites me, be it dance, stunts or characters, it doesn’t matter. I love it all.

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