Remo D’Souza is a name to reckon with in Bollywood. Having made dozens of superstars fall in step with his direction on dance movements, his success story can be the envy of any aspiring choreographer. “Life has been like a Disney’s rollercoaster ride – taking me up and down, spinning my head out of focus till it landed me on my feet from where I took off,” is how Remo describes his eventful journey from Jamnagar.
Reminiscing about those days, the winner of the 63rd National Film Award for Best Choreography for ‘Deewani Mastani’ in ‘Bajirao Mastani’, recalls how he had almost given up when he was judged by his looks and appearance rather than ability and talent. With fire in his belly, he decided to pick up the gauntlet. “‘I went back to the very same people and said ‘throw me out if you don’t like my dance’. I realised that you have to fight your own battle and have self-belief,” the choreographer was quoted as saying in a report.
Remo is all praise for those who stood by him through thick and thin. “People usually have one godfather but I was fortunate to have three. Ahmed Khan who introduced me as a dancer, later making me his assistant; Anubhav Sinha who gave me the first choreography break in a video and Hansal Mehta whose ‘Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar’ was my first film,” said Remo.
Associated with choreography for more than 15 years and always keeping in step with the changing demands of Bollywood, Remo feels that the essence of a good choreography is to be as natural as possible and in sync with the story, characters, situation and the music. Describing graduating to filmmaking a step forward, Remo said, “Having created a niche in choreography, I decided to make films and that is how ‘Faltu’, ‘ABCD’ and ‘ABCD-2’ came into being.”
For now he is busy with ‘A Flying Jatt’. “This film is about a superhero played by Tiger Shroff and like any other kid I too wanted to be one — fly and fight the baddies just like Superman,” he said.Having worked with almost all the leading actors in Bollywood, Remo rates Hrithik Roshan and Deepika Padukone as the best. “Their body language, expressions and movements are perfect. You can actually discern every movement and step when they perform,” he was quoted as saying in a report.
For Remo, winning the National Film Award for Best Choreography for ‘Deewani Mastani’ in ‘Bajirao Mastani’ is the most proud moment of his life. “I was surprised like several others when Sanjay Leela Bhansali chose me as the choreographer as I am known for using styles like hip-hop but he knew I had a keen eye for folk dances and the semi-classical forms too. We discussed a lot as to what kind of movements should be there keeping in mind the story and characters, especially the costumes,” said Remo.