An Interview with Terence Lewis – A One Man Show!
Great dancers are not performers; they are creators of a new era. Terence Lewis is one of those rare dancers and choreographers who create dance rather just performing the dance. This exclusive interview covers some unknown facts and thoughts about prominent choreographer, Terence Lewis.
Full Name: Terence Lewis
Date of Birth: 10th April
Zodiac Sign: Aries
Place of Birth: Mumbai, Maharashtra
Profession: Director of Choreography, Performer, and Producer
His website: http://terencelewis.com/
About Terence Lewis:
I really don’t have to describe this amazing self-made personality, Terence Lewis. We all know him through his exceptional dance moves and craze for music. Terence is recognized internationally for the talent he brings along. His mainstream in dance form is contemporary, ballet, and jazz. Terence runs his own workshops and classes in Mumbai. Some of his popular works include Lagaan, Ram-Leela, Jhankaar Beats, and more. Terence gained international recognition from his brilliant choreography skills for Disney’s first theater production in India titled, Beauty and the Beast.
We also know Terence Lewis as a judge on various reality shows like Nach Baliye, Dance India Dance, and more.
Terence Lewis’s family background:
Coming from a family background with 8 siblings, life wasn’t that luxurious or comfortable for Terence Lewis. Out of 8 siblings, Terence was the only child in his family who got passionate for dance since his childhood.
“I am extremely high on life.”
– Terence Lewis
He remembers that a German dancer once told him that he has the potential to get into the contemporary dance and that was it for Terence. It was difficult for Terence to convince his parents initially for a future in dance. Their only concern was the fear of him being distracted from his studies and performance in academic life. However, when the gods decide a destiny for you, there is no control to it. Terence feels blessed that he has a supporting sister who always encouraged him in his passion for dance. The best part was Terence passed his academics with amazing grades and continued his passion for dance at the same time.
“Everything for me is an achievement; I am an achiever!”
– Terence Lewis
Terence’s academic background:
Terence has been one of the brightest students in his academic career. It is undeniable that he has an excellent command over his language and speaking skills. He completed his Micro-Bio. Due to his creative style of learning and good academic scores, Terence Lewis was loved by all the teachers. He believes he was nurtured well by his gurus at school and college.
Although Terence couldn’t leave his passion for dance, he was also expected to score well by his family. It wasn’t difficult for this multitask taker. He has been a winner of every challenge that he took.
My meet with Terence Lewis:
Terence Lewis has been one of my favorite choreographers and reality show judges. I have been waiting for this moment for a face to face communication with him. When we entered his Juhu office, a decent staff welcomed us with a warm smile. We waited for a few minutes to see Terence and there he was in white and blue. He is full of energy and enthusiasm. We settled into his cabin and I couldn’t resist telling him that he looked so fresh and energetic despite a long and busy day.
Terence Lewis is one of those rare personalities who believe in speaking their heart out without any hesitation. He is full of confidence and experience. I was amazed to see his body language and his thoughtful approach towards life. I am glad that he shared with me so much information and experience of his life along with his time.
“Contemporary is an extremely efficient dance form; it is the most flexible, advanced, and creative art. It helps you work more with gravity.”
– Terence Lewis
What, How, When, and Who with Terence Lewis:
Shruti Sharma: Terence, give me one name that is responsible for a turning point in your life.
Terence Lewis: Parvez Shetty! She once told me, you are the best out of the worst while awarding me for winning a dance competition in 8th grade; I did not understand what she meant by that. That was, of course, a compliment. She clarified that I can be among the worst crazy people in terms of determination and passion for things.
Shruti Sharma: How important it is for a dancer to be trained?
Terence Lewis: Very important Shruti. When I used to dance as a child I had no training but liking for this form. However, you slowly realize that unless you learn more techniques the art becomes stagnant. I used to buy books from Bandra on dance and read them for days to know how I can introduce new things in my dance form. It is important to understand when you make a movement in dance for instance in contemporary, what is the degree of flexibility or stretch needed in your body. The technique has to be mastered. I had a crazy dance schedule. I used to study at college and rush to take several batches for dance post-college hours.
Terence was a terrific dance teacher and earned Rs.500/- to train one child.
It was not late enough that the whole building joined to get trained under him through referrals of parents. It was a big thing for him during those days.
Shruti Sharma: Terence, India is loaded with brilliant dance forms, why contemporary?
Terence Lewis: Once a German dance teacher visited at one of the events I was a part of and told me that I have the potential to get into contemporary dance form. I had no clue what was this dance form all about and this got me more attracted to know more about contemporary. When I got exposed to this amazing form of dance, there was no looking back for me.
Shruti Sharma: Reality shows, awards or films, what is more, difficult in terms of choreography?
Terence Lewis: Reality shows are far more difficult. These break your back but, they are fantastic in relation to creativity and depth. On the other side, Judging is an act of responsibility; you need to be neutral as a judge. I could be a ruthless teacher because as a teacher I expect you to be phenomenal. Before any show as a judge, I take an oath of neutrality. Films are again limited as it has its own numbers of challenges. As a film choreographer, you have restrictions in relation to the location, artist, costumes, and much other stuff.
Shruti Sharma: Terence, how is the entertainment industry, fake or friendly?
Terence Lewis: Shruti to be honest, it’s an industry to work and not to make friends! It is like any other industry. Labeling the industry would not be fair. You can’t stereotype the industry or the people in it.
Shruti Sharma: What is that one thing that Terence Lewis would like to change in our industry?
Terence Lewis: We are a ‘herd’ mentality and thus creativity often fails here. As a performer and as a viewer, I want the mindset of people to change so that more creative people are able to survive and bring the best of content to you.
Shruti Sharma: Terence, I know the fact from where you come, how you have survived and the way you have accomplished so many things in your life on your own. However, if you find a genie with three wishes yet to be fulfilled, what would these be?
- I wish a philanthropist gives me a land in Bandra to open a huge dance school for those who can’t afford.
- Make films and act in a manner that shakes the Hindi cinema.
- I’d love to help my country find a system to raise education, sanitation, and fulfill basic needs in remote areas. We need better laws for children and women safety and senior citizens as well.
Shruti Sharma: What’s new in Terence Lewis’s life?
Terence Lewis: I am waiting for the release of my most cherished movie titled – ‘Wonderland’. It is written, produced, and acted by me.
Straight from the writer’s desk:
Terence Lewis, I began with writing that an artist like you needs no introduction and I stick to it. No words can describe your level of energy, multi-tasking skills, and your thought process. Thank you for this memorable time of conversation with you. I pass my best wishes for your upcoming movie, Wonderland and truly hope that it becomes another feather of pride on your success hat. Please sustain the same level of energy, enthusiasm, and spirit always. I am strongly hoping to have another session of informative conversation with you very soon. My love and light to you.