Why we dance: the real life story behind ABCD2. In video.
There's something about movement that makes you see things differently. When you travel, a moving vehicle offers a different perspective of the sky. When you play, every stretched sinew and hurting muscle makes you see your skin and bones differently. When you dance, you reach out, you fold, you stretch, you challenge, you express yourself differently.
That expression is at the heart of why everyone dances. Our movie stars dance, but so do we. We dance alone, we dance in company, we dance with training, we dance without it.
In the last few years, dance has turned into a national obsession - and that obsession transcends age, geography, social strata. Be-bop is now a thing across urban India. Dance troupes are formed in slums and housing complexes, in dance studios and living rooms, in temporary shelters and fancy basements.
ABCD and its recent sequel, ABCD2 capture exactly this zeitgeist. One can contest the skill of the dancing or the believability of the plotline but what is inarguable is that the films depict the reality of thousands of aspiring dancers around the country.
The plot is based on the real lives of The Fictitious Group, started by dancers Suresh and Vernon who were first seen on TV dance competitions such as Boogie Woogie, India's Got Talent and Entertainment Ke Liye Kuchh Bhi Karega. These two choreographers from Vasai, Mumbai came together to form a troupe that, despite having no proper studio to practice in, found themselves at a competition in Las Vegas.
If reality diverges from the film, it's in assuming everyone aspires to global success. Some do aspire to the world stage, or at least to Bollywood success - but for multitudes of others, dance is joy and freedom, and intensely personal.
Anybody can dance but everybody doesn't make it big. Everybody doesn't want to.