When one thinks of a concert with a headlining act being Shahid Kapoor, it’s as if eyes are wide open and waiting for it. Kapoor, who is arguably one of the best dancers in Indian cinema today, is coming to London’s O2 to perform for the very first time in the UK with Bollywood Showstoppers, brought by Flex FX Productions. The extravaganza also features other well-known names for a one-off night of masti on Sunday 3rd August.
BizAsia had the unique opportunity to catch up with Kapoor before he heads to the capital for the event.
How excited are you about the Bollywood Showstoppers next week?
I really like performing on stage. I love live performances and interacting with the audience. It’s great fun doing that. I am very excited as this is the first time that I’m going to be performing in London. I’m very excited about that. It’s one of my favourite cities and there’s great support for Indian films there. The people are also very loving and very warm and I’m looking forward to giving them a fun night, an experience they’ll enjoy and hopefully remember.
What songs will you be performing to?
Usually one performs to songs from a current movie or a recent movie but because this is my first time performing in London, I want to do some songs which are my favourites from over the years. I’ll be doing songs like Dhan Te Nan, Mauja Hi Mauja, Nagada and also Gandi Baat, Agal Bagal, Saree Ka Fall. There’s a lot of dancing. (Laughs) I’m really tired because I’m rehearsing a lot but we’re going to try and make it a really fun show. It’ll be a mix and match and a little bit of everything that I’ve done in my career.
Many would agree that you’re one of the best dancers in the industry. Do you find any pressure coming with that? Are you always striving to do better than your last performance?
It’s mostly to do with the physical effort that is required. Every time you need to push yourself physically to try something that you haven’t done before. It’s true, whenever I do a song – no matter who the choreographer is – they always come and tell me they want to to do something I’ve not done before. They want to push me to do beyond what they’ve seen me do as a dancer already. So, yes it is a lot of pressure because you have to go out and do something new every time. I guess everyone is doing that in their own way but when people know that you’re a dancer then they want you to dance a lot. So, more than anything else, it’s difficult because physically you need to keep pushing yourself. I’m not somebody who, unfortunately, has the opportunity to dance everyday. I would be happy if I could do that because I remember I was a dancer. That’s what I did for a living for a few years of my life. I used to dance everyday and that would help my body stay connected to dancing. It would always be in optimum performance mode as opposed to now when I do a song once in a few months. So then suddenly I have to wake up to doing all kinds of crazy stuff with my body and it gets a little tiring and it a bit unnatural in a way. However, it’s a part of the job and you’ve got to get used to it.
Recently, you witnessed your brother Ishaan being awarded Shiamak Davar’s most promising talent. What did that feel like?
Well, I think my brother is a better dancer than me to begin with! He’s really very good and very passionate about it. He’s trained with Shiamak and I remember going for his show. I remember getting very nostalgic about it because it brought back a lot of memories. I was doing exactly the same thing a few years back. I also met some friends, co-dancers, co-workers who I had spent some of the most fun years of my life with. I felt quite proud that my brother was doing such a good job.
We hear that your forthcoming film ‘Haider’ will be getting some innovative promotions. Are there plans to promote the film internationally at all?
I really just follow the lead when it comes to these things. People just tell me to go somewhere and I just do it. Promotions are very chaotic. I often don’t want to know what I’m doing tomorrow because today has got enough filled into it. (Laughs) I am sure there will be international promotions but closer to the release I’ll have more clarity. It is going to be an extensive release and a film which will find a strong audience both within and outside India.
Congratulations on the first trailer of the movie; it certainly looks like ‘Haider’ is the performance of a lifetime for you.
Thank you so much. It is a film I’ve worked really hard on and if people are seeing the trailer and that’s coming through then that makes me very happy. Thank you so much for that.
We’ve had a lot of interaction with your many Twitter fanclubs. Is there a message you’d like to give to them?
Of course! To all the Shanatics, as they like to call themselves, you’re my biggest strength and you make me want to work harder everyday. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you for the unconditional support that you’ve always shown. I’ve done some good work and I’ve also done some pretty crappy work and you’ve still always been there for me. That makes me feel very special and I hope that Haider will be a film that gives you an experience that you will enjoy.
Finally, if the London audience could give you something back in your upcoming Bollywood Showstoppers concert, what would it be?
Just their love. That’s it. That’s why I’m there. I’m there to give them a fun night and take all their best wishes and all their love and give mine in return. That’s it.
BizAsia thanks Shahid Kapoor for taking the time to talk to us. He will be seen on Sunday 3rd August at London’s O2, along with Sonakshi Sinha, Jacqueline Fernandez, Ali Zafar and Mika Singh.