‘Pak choreographers are not inferior’
* Samrat says Pakistani directors chasing Indian choreographers have inferiority complex
By Shoaib Ahmed
LAHORE: One of Lollywood’s leading choreographers has slammed the increasing incidence of Pakistani film producers and directors turning to Indians to choreograph their movies, saying it showed they lacked confidence in their countrymen.
“Pakistani directors lack faith in local choreographers because of their inferiority complex,” said Khanu Samrat.
Mr Samrat said the poor quality of dance sequences in Pakistani films was not the fault of choreographers, but of over-interfering directors. “In Bollywood, the directors have complete faith in their dance directors and let them get on with their work. When Indians are hired for Pakistani films, they are left to work independently. But when a Pakistani choreographer is hired, his work is constantly questioned,” he said. “It is simply unprofessional. Pakistani directors think that they are superior to Pakistani dance directors and feel insulted if they are asked to shoot according to the choreographer’s requirement. But if they have an Indian choreographer, they will shoot according to the whims of the choreographer without question or objection.”
Mr Samrat said he had no objection to Pakistani producers hiring Indian choreographers. “I am confident about my abilities and am prepared for the competition,” he said. “But the principle of equal opportunity and liberty should apply to both.” He said Pakistani choreographers were paid a maximum of Rs 60,000, even for bug budget movies, but Bollywood choreographers were paid in the millions. He said Javed Sheikh paid Saroj Khan Rs 1.2 million for one film, but the choreographer was unable to coax performances out of the Pakistani artists that could match the dance sequences in Indian films like Dev Das and Ram Lakhan.
Mr Samrat said that the song that he had done for Javed Sheikh’s film ‘Ye dil aap ka huwa’ received better reviews than the rest of the songs in the movie that Saroj Khan had done. He said this was just one example that Pakistani choreographers were no worse than their Indian counterparts.
He said that the trend of hiring Indian choreographers started in the 90s with ‘Very good duniya very bad log’, which was choreographed by Bhopinder. Samina Peerzada had hired an Indian choreographer called Ahmed Khan for her film ‘Inteha’. After that, several big names like Syed Noor, Sajjad Gul, Javed Sheikh and even new directors like Reema were seen running after Bollywood choreographers, he added.
“It is generally believed that if a film has a big budget, Indian choreographers should be hired,” said Mr Samrat. “To hire choreographers from across the border is a fad that will die its own death soon.”
About the upcoming videos for his album titled ‘Kuch nahi teray bin’, Mr Samrat said they had been announced last year but had been delayed because of the unavailability of his co-star, Mehar Hasan, an American-born actress with a Masters degree in performing arts from the University of Louisville, Kentucky.
Mr Samrat hoped that work on the videos would start in the first week of August after Ms Hasan arrived in Pakistan. He said that his album would be the first by a Pakistani choreographer to feature both classical and semi classical songs.