Outgoing and energetic dance instructor and choreographer with talent in forms related to Bollywood Nisha Mahendra is choreographing in the Bombay Chasers Show at Sibaya Casino this weekend. Mahendra is adept at organising live performances, helping to integrate costumes and props in live performances.
She has 14 years of experience in the Bollywood industry in Mumbai performing at award nights, corporates, musicals, Bollywood world tours, weddings, movie shoots and reality shows. She has also travelled the world teaching and training international stars which include, Saif Ali Khan, Shahrukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, Shahid Kapoor, Anushka Sharma just to name a few. Tabloid Newspapers spoke to Mahendra on her career and her role in Bombay Chasers.
Tabloid Newspapers (TN):
How do you feel about choreographing Bombay Chasers in Durban?
Nisha Mahendra (NM):
I feel great about choreographing Bombay chasers in Durban. Thrilled to share my knowledge and skills with the amazing talented people here. I breathe dance and to choreograph a Bollywood based production has been work with pleasure. Durban is beautiful, with beaches and the greenery, absolutely amazing weather.
TN: Where are you originally from?
NM: I am from Mumbai, India originally.
TN: What sort of dance do you specialise in?
NM: I specialise in Bollywood form of dance.
TN: When did your love for choreography start and what inspired you to pursue it?
NM: It’s been four years now that I started choreographing. A lot of inspiration is derived from performing artists all over the world but also I believe that art is self-creation. I love to create and to an extent I am self-inspired hence choreography. It has so many aspects. I go on exploring, creating and sharing. A lot of times my co-workers and dancers have also inspired me. It’s simply about how driven one wishes to be. Besides, I love dance.
TN: How was your first experience on stage?
NM: My first experience on stage was very long ago, but I felt I belonged here. My first stage performance on a professional level was for the MTV Emmy Awards, In Mumbai. I enjoyed it.
TN: Who was/ is your best collaboration with and why?
NM: My best collaboration was with Shah Rukh Khan because he is somebody I admired from my teenage days and then eventually got to know that he is as talented as we see him on TV and he is also a very humble person. It was very easy working with him. I enjoyed it.
TN: Are there any challenges in your line of career and what are they?
NM: Yes, there are challenges that are proving yourself at every point, you have to be disciplined in your training and a lot of overtime
TN: How can these challenges be addressed?
NM: The ultimate way of dealing with these challenges are consistency and positive attitude, looking at the bigger picture, patience, above all, believing in yourself.
TN: What do you feel younger choreographers should focus on in order to be as successful as you in their careers?
NM: Some ways that younger choreographers need to focus on is minding their own business, keep working on your talent and never ever shy away from showing your skills
TN: Your thoughts on SA dancers?
NM: There is a lot of talent in this country for sure, but their skills need to be polished and that will only come with more time and effort invested in training. In the South African dance fraternity, dancers are limited in their freedom to chose who they dance with. They should go for all dance experiences with an open mind. Dancers in Bombay Chasers are hardworking and curious. My heart reaches out to them and I am only willing to work harder with them.
TN: What can we expect from you in Bombay Chasers?
NM: I am sure the audience has not witnessed this kind of dancing before on a Durban stage platform. It’s different, it’s Bollywood, it’s entertaining and surely international. Everyone should go watch and see for themselves.
TN: What are your biggest highlights and biggest achievements?
NM: My biggest highlights were assisting in choreography and performing in AR Rahmaan concerts, being dancing captain in the musical Merchants of Bollywood for year 2017, performing and under studying and being the lead of the show Merchants of Bollywood for 10 years and completing over 1500 shows.