Fans of acclaimed Indian American choreographer Nakul Dev Mahajan are aware of his award-winning work on American television, but they don’t know anything about his personal life, or his journey to the top.
Now a new biographical documentary film, centered on the “So You Think You Can Dance” choreographer, offers a rare insight into his private life.
Titled “Live, Love, Dance: The Nakul Dev Mahajan Story,” the one hour-38-minute film on YouTube traces his trials and tribulations: surviving cancer; being a South Asian gay man; and pursuing an unconventional career path.
Directed by filmmaker Yash Patel, the documentary, according to its YouTube description, “will inspire you to ‘live’ your life to its fullest, ‘love’ without any inhibitions and ‘dance’ your way to making all your dreams come true.”
Nakul’s parents Mahesh and Renu Mahajan and sister Anu Parks also feature in the documentary. They recall their thoughts and feelings after learning of his cancer diagnosis.
“It was tough. It was hard,” says his mother, fighting back tears. “But we were together, and we took care of him. I told him, ‘We’ll fight, and we won’t let anything happen to you.’”
Nakul says in the film that the timing couldn’t have been worse.
“It was happening in a time when I felt that my life is finally content and together,” he says. “My career was fantastic, everything was in its place, the studios, whatever TV opportunities I was getting. I came out to my parents, so I know I wasn’t hiding anymore, I just bought a home. Finally, I’m living with my modern family with my husband, my adopted daughter Khushi so life is great and then this happens.”
It also includes interviews with Paula Abdul, Nigel Lythgoe, Jeff Thacker and Nina Davuluri, to name a few.
“The film makers and I are very proud of the outcome and feedback we have been getting,” said Mahajan. “This film had an extremely small budget, basically none, and everyone worked pro-bono, as they all believed that these stories needed to be told in our communities.”
Watch the film here: