September 11, 2011 Y. Sunitha Chowdhary
"My family is connected with music, my uncle played the tabla and my aunt the harmonium. There were these music sessions at home and I would dance. I would idolize Sridevi and dance like her but as I grew up I wanted to be a teacher. I think choreography is a teacher's job, explaining steps to my team, camera angles to the art department et al. I think I would have done a lot more.
In 2002 I lost my mother and I was shattered, she was the one who pushed me that extra mile and couldn't take up work. In my absence a lot of newcomers went ahead. There was a time I would run for work but now after my marriage I'm selective and do stuff that excites me and makes me happy."
Pony was 22, the youngest choreographer when she started looking out for projects, it wasn't easy and people would ask her for her portfolios and reject but she learnt to handle it all. She says Priyadarshan and cinematographer S. Kumar who had done Bodyguard in Malayalam were of great help.
"I did an intro song for a popular Hindi serial for Doordarshan and after a week of my work they rejected me and I cried. I also worked as an assistant for actors for shows abroad. I'm related to Govinda but I never sought any help from him and I'm proud I've made it on my own."
The choreographer admits that competition is very tough but she never compromised for a project and always worked on her terms and conditions. She quips, "People try to put me down, when it comes to talking remunerations there are always comparisons but I make it very clear that I should paid for the work I've done.
I also believe if you are destined to get a film, you'll get it no matter what. The one song in Chandini Chowk to China was someone else's but it came to me. There were a few of my songs but in the last moment it went to someone. I'm a versatile choreographer and can do anything..item, love, romance, sensuous, erotic, etc. I understand the entire film, story, characters in it's entirety."
Her recent marriage to Prakash Raj brought a sense of calmness into her life. She was earlier very restless and adds, "I know he's there for me when I'm going through a low. Married life is blissful, it has given me security and contentment."
On The Dirty Picture she says a many people remarked that Vidya Balan can't look like Silk Smitha, and she's not glamorous but when the promos released recently her phone didn't stop ringing. She avers, "I share a good equation with Vidya, am aware of how she performs and know how much she can be pushed. There is no vulgarity, I did see Silk's songs but concentrated more on her essence in the eighties.
I've done five songs plus those film bits in the movie. I love dreaming and I'm a day dreamer, I can listen to songs and start imagining. Choreographing could be a superb business if you have the imagination. Right now I'm doing Zilla Ghaziabad. I've done Badrinath, Super and Idi Sangati. I also run the Indian School of Performing Arts."