The movies are just a hop, step and jump away for hip-hop artist Gautam Koul
Bollywood and hip-hop dancer Gautam Koul aka G-Luv is today a known face in the dance circuit in Australia. Apart from his live performances Gautam has been part of several reality dance shows, which has made him a celebrity of sorts in the dance world.
But Gautam says as a child he wasn’t among the more popular kids in school. A rather shy and self-conscious teen, Gautam says he was bullied as a teenager and so spent most of his time with his parents or in front of the telly.
Perhaps that was what drew him to the world of Bollywood. “I used to dance in front of the family and that was how the dream of acting in the movies began,” says Gautam, who adds that he is a self-taught hip-hop and Bollywood dancer, having learned most of his moves from YouTube and Bollywood films.
By the age of 18, Gautam had established himself as a hip-hop and Bollywood dancer in Canberra.
While talking about his acting skills, Gautam says, “I was a shy person, but acting was something I was drawn to. So in my late teens I decided to give it a fair go and began acting on stage. Today, my personality is my main strength. I always make sure people remember what and who I am.”
While at university, Gautam was featured on the TV show “So You Think You Can Dance”. He also started actively involving himself in acting, by undertaking NIDA courses and participating in short films.
It was also while he was in university that his talent was spotted by international choreographer Flexystu. Gautam got the opportunity to work as an assistant choreographer on a Bollywood film with Flexy in London.
During his time overseas he travelled through Europe for more than three months dancing, teaching, and learning from performance artists. That trip has been documented in a YouTube video.
In 2011, Gautam got an opportunity to be a part of the show ‘Bollywood Star’, which gave his acting career a boost.
Sharing his memories about the show, Gautam says, “In October 2011, I saw a commercial on television about auditions coming up for a show called Bollywood Star, where the winner would be featured in a movie. I jumped at the chance and attended the auditions,” he says.
“I remember when I arrived Sydney for the very first national auditions of SBS’s Bollywood Star I was surrounded by hundreds of talented people. It shook my confidence at first but then I pulled myself together and really managed to impress the judges,” says Gautam, who subsequently made it to the top 6 and was flown to India to be trained by the best dance and acting teachers in order to impress a Bollywood film director to potentially be in his film.
Gautam didn’t manage to win the contest – though he was a finalist and literally the last man standing (the other finalists were women) but the show boosted his popularity and he did get more opportunities to work with Bollywood directors, teach dance, model and play lead roles in short-films.
Sharing his views about Bollywood, Gautam says, “The Bollywood industry obviously has a great influence on its audience as many follow it religiously. But more focus should be laid on making such films, which help in bringing about positive social change. That is something I plan to focus on,” says Gautam.