Dancer turns choreographer for Bollywood movie ‘Highway to Suva’, which released in December
While her cousin Harman took the acting route to stardom, Natasha Baweja made her moves to the spotlight with her dance. Today, the Chandigarh-born, Melbourne-based dancer is taking her passion forward through her dance academies, besides having worked in a range of projects such as Memo by Kritical and the Sound by Hayley Clare, as well as appeared in more than 20 music videos in New Zealand.
Most recently, she turned dance director for the Bollywood movie ‘Highway to Suva’, which was released on 8 December 2013. “I am glad I got the chance to choreograph for playback singer Javed Ali’s song. Also in this movie, I did an item song as the lead dancer,” says Natasha excitedly.
“Dance is a universal language. To dance for an audience and to choreograph the moves are entirely different practices, but a good dancer can be a good chorographer as well. On stage, we dance for an audience, as choreographers we dance with cameras,” she says.
“Being an Indian, and because of my upbringing in a Bollywood driven environment, my passion for dance is somewhat obvious. Bollywood has had impact on my life,” says Natasha, who moved to New Zealand more than 16 years ago, and then from there to Melbourne 3 years ago.
She shot to the limelight in 2004, when she was featured in the hip hop hit ‘Ride till I die’ by Smashproff. She then featured quite prominently in a number of stage performances for renowned institutes like Shaimak Davar and Western Springs Performing Arts School (NZ).
Natasha has also dabbled in modelling, having been the face of Auckland Transport Authority to being the lead model for Tanya Arts Entertainment.
Having been a choreographer and a professional dancer for the last six years, Natasha opened her dance school in New Zealand first and then after having a successful run, opened NB dance school in Melbourne in January this year. “We run group classes, perform at functions, and conduct workshops. We have taught about 50 students this year in classes,” says Natasha.
Since January, the NB dance group has performed in over 50 shows including the openings of the Mika Singh Concert (Holi) in April 2013, the Udit Narayan’s Concert in May, and the Devang Patel Dandiya in September; and participation in Indian Music and dance Festival in August and Diwali Mela Sandown in September.
“This first year has been really good for the NB dance group, but there is a long way to go. I am also choreographing a Tamil Music video,” says Natasha.
“Dance comes naturally to me, and I cannot imagine life without it,” says the dancer.