MUMBAI—Multi-talented Prabhudheva, who has made his mark as an actor, dancer, choreographer and filmmaker, turned 45 on Apr. 3. He says dance is an extension of his personality and he cannot imagine life without it.
"I think dance is my extension. There is nothing that I can imagine without dance. I see the visual first... I approach dance in a very raw way, and then I am a bundle of emotions. It is a very pure thing that happens between my emotions and physical movements, and nothing comes in between.
"Everything changes when I dance... I am a taskmaster there; I am the creator, I am high on dance, my expression, body language... I am like a fire," Prabhudheva told IANS with his voice exuding the passion he has for the art form.
From "Muqabla," "Urvasi Urvasi" and "Kay sera sera," Prabhudheva has choreographed several songs in Hindi cinema as well as in the southern film industry.
Kajol to Madhuri Dixit, Salman Khan to Varun Dhawan, he has worked with stars of different generations. Which star gave him a tough time?
"You see, if anyone is calling me to choreograph a dance, they know my style and they know I am a taskmaster. They want to present themselves as a good dancer before their fans, and that is why they want me to choreograph. So I would say no one gives me a tough time.
"Yes, they might be doing more rehearsals than that of a regular dancer, but I do not mind working hard with stars. For instance, in 'Kay sera sera' for which Madhuri and I danced together... She is a great classical dancer, and my style is different. She kept on practicing until she felt confident to go for the final take.
"I think she did more than 20 rehearsals. But I think that is how they achieve what they achieve. One cannot achieve that level of perfection without this amount of hard work."
What is the element that keeps the audience hooked to his performances on-screen?
"Well, I think if you people liked all my dances it is because of the element between what it looks like and what it actually is. That is the magic. You see, as an audience when you watch a dance, you want to see it like an easy dance that anybody can try and do successfully. While that made you try out the step, you cannot get it perfectly because it is slightly twisted, slightly different and rather difficult for a commoner."
Apart from dancing, Prabhudheva has tried his hand at acting and directing as well with films like "Wanted," "Rowdy Rathore," "Ramaiya Vastavaiya" and "Action Jackson."
Asked if he imposes his star power as an actor, Prabhudheva said: "With experience, I have become more focused, and I have no problem taking instructions. When I work in a film like an actor, I do not interfere or try to use my seniority or impose anything on the filmmaker.
"That is wrong. Unless I agree upon a director's vision, I will not sign a film. If I signed it, I should follow his vision."
However, he said he is a completely different person when he is directing and dancing.
"These two are two different worlds. I may or may not be successful as a film director, but when I direct a film, I am telling a story the way I want to say it. There I am looking into every matter that is coming before the camera," said the actor, whose film "Mercury" is releasing on April 13.
It is a silent film directed by Karthik Subbaraj.
"I wanted to work with Karthik. He is a very good filmmaker, and everyone wants to work with him. When I signed the film, I did not think too much about the story or the message of the film. If it is silent or a talkie... all these are additional elements, and my bonus to work with Karthik who has a strong vision," he said.
Considering the fact that the film is addressing a serious global issue like the effect of industrialization on mother nature, will the silence convey the gravity of the real situation on-screen?
"After 10 minutes of the film's start, you will not feel the silence. The audience will not miss the dialogue because it engages the audience visually. At the end of the film, during the climax, one would sit on the edge of the sofa and watch. One should watch it to experience what I am trying to say," he said.