Jhalak dikhla ja



Not the imbecile song by Him who shall be Silky. The new dance show that launched today, in fact just now. The format seems to be straight out of the previous “popular” dance show – Nach Baliye, which sent the whole country watching just one program during those days. So much so that sitting in Finland I got reports that this show was rather popular. When I returned back to India midway in the series and saw the furore with which families, friends, colleagues discussed the goings on of the show beamed into their bedrooms, I realised that Indian television had a “formula” at hand. I digress, but then a tribute had to be paid to the first one (in India that is, since it was also copied from an international format).

Like Nach Baliye (which has a sequel coming up anyway), this show too has the 3 judges format. One dance director, one movie director (why do they have those I dont understand) and one oomphy actress who’s better at dancing than acting. So Saroj Khan has been replaced by Farah Khan minus the histrionics. Farhan Akhtar has been replaced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali (again sandwiched between the two females). Malaika has been replaced with Shilpa Shetty (can we ever forget ‘Chura ke dil mera’). The pair anchoring the show has been lifted straight from Nach Baliye and happens to be one of the popular pairs – Archana puran singh and Parmeet Sethi. Thankfully Parmeet isn’t heading over towards Shilpa at every opportunity to hug her like what he did with Malaika. The only way in which Jhalak Dikhla ja, seems to be different is that it has one celeb dancing with his/her choreographer instead of a celeb couple dancing. The choice of celebs is again, people who are not professional dancers and in some cases are rather surprising like Sanjeev Kapoor the chef!

Surprisingly I didnt see much promotion for the show, or is it because I hardly watch any of the Hindi serial channels?

Anyhow the first episode seemed to be executed just the way Nach Baliye was. Adequate hugging by the judges was there though no distribution of chillad or a guru/shishya bhashan. Since this is the first episode, the extra emotion, teary eyed people or the drama factor seemed to be absent. But I am sure it would follow once the show gains momentum. To start with, Ajay Jadeja strode in along with his choreographer. From hurling balls on the cricket field, he seems to have come down to hurling balls.. err..come down to gyrating his pelvis. Not very impressive. Then came Rati Agnihotri with a gusto, trying to recreate the “tere mere beech mein” effect that too with a costume that looked like she forgot her antlers and the tribal gong. Though I didnt see that 25 yr old effect, the judges were all praise for her effort, keeping in mind her age. Then entered the bad meanie of the KKKKKKkingdom – Aakashdeep Sehgal, sans the long hair, beard, moustache etc. He almost looked gay. He showed a lot of passion, physical strength and chemistry but forgot that he was here to dance. All that he did was twirl or swirl his choreographer around whereas everyone expected him to do something, what with those expressions and that agile body. Ended up being the lowest scorer of the day. Incidentally he was the only male dancer wearing white, all others turned up in black (is there some rule?). Then came one of the finest performances. Sultry Shveta Salve. She had the right movements, the right facial expression, the synchronisation, the enjoyment writ on her face. And needless to say she has a great figure (not that it matters, what with dilnaaz and gang coming up tops). Easily the topmost scorer of the day.

Then surprises of all surprises, we had Sanjeev Kapoor out of the kitchen for once, and onto the stage. He came dressed as a chef complete with the cap and then shed off his layering as if peeling an onion. Out came a black dress (what else) which somehow reminded me of Phantom comics. And out came even the fake moustache, peeled off yet again, like them veggies. Though he still stuck to salsa – if not in the kitchen then on the stage. And surprisingly again, he danced quite well, handled his partner well, had the right facial expressions too! Then it was Pooja Body err..Bedi, in an eminently forgettable dance number. Nevertheless she got complimented by a relieved Farah Khan who had been through the nightmare of directing her in “Jo Jeeta Wahee Sikander” and all the dance that she could manage then was, her lying on a car with the fan on. Mahesh Manjrekar strutted in with his partner. He looked like he could just stand around with a pistol blowing smoke. Surprisingly he danced well in a combination of salsa with tapori dance. He almost gave a Dev anand look while dancing in fact. And just before I thought that dancing on salsa was perhaps a requirement of the day, Jassi came in with her Babaji’s blessings and did a nice jive number. Again, she had the right dance, the right expression, the right everything. Though on a slightly lesser scale than Shveta Salve. And like all other couples, this one too ended the dance with the female falling onto the guy whilst he held her.

Like earlier reality shows, this one too gives the audience the kind of power to decide the winners, which they expect would decide their TRP’s too. Though the quality of the dances is mediocre compared to Nach Baliye. The show caught attention alright, but what with Nach Baliye’s sequel releasing soon, we would have too much dance everywhere. It still remains to be seen if these shows are gonna die out like India Idol 2 or move on to something more spectacular.


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