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Monday, Aug 11, 2003

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Cut in a different groove


HE IS as realistic as one can get in the world of dream merchants. Says Jaaved Jafferi: "As you become more famous, the more responsibilities you have. If you are genuine in your purpose, you become a role model by default."

From serious roles in "Oh! Darling!" and "Fire" to a children's entertainer in "Jajantaram Mamantaram", Jaaved has carved his niche in offbeat, cross-culture movies as a versatile actor, choreographer, dancer, singer, producer, director... the list is endless. If you care to sum it up in one word, he offers: "I am an entertainer. As long as I entertain, that's my life."

In Delhi to launch the north leg of his brainchild "Grooves - A Song and Dance World Championship", sponsored by Sahara Manoranjan, Jaaved says: "This was a dream project for me, and I can now finally make it come true. I hope that in the coming years it will attain the stature of something like the Miss World, just in music and dance. There is so much hidden talent in this country, which needs to be tapped, and I'm trying to do just that."

Starting with 40 cities across India, the competition moves to the zonal and later the national and international level with nine other countries. The Delhi auditions are on August 11, 12, and 13 in South Delhi Club.

The theme is freestyle, both in dance and vocal performances. "Someone may dance Bharatanatyam or Kuchipudi or Kathak or maybe a fusion, you can't base your decisions on a particular dance style and say that this is better. It's the performance that matters," says Neeraj Assie, co-director of Grooves, but Jaaved adds that freestyle does not mean that any sort of vulgarity or obscenity in the dance, costume or make-up will be tolerated. "We've made this clear to both the participants and their parents."

Jaaved, who will soon be seen in "Boom" and "Raju Bangkok", feels artistic licence cannot be extended to showing nudity or sex scenes, whether in commercial or art films, and that the audience are capable of comprehending subtlety. The Censor Board "have double standards and are totally confused," avers this `different' star, who plans to restrict his commitments to two films per year and devote ample time to dance, singing, and his new production company Quartet.

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