‘Dare 2 Dance’: A step further to dance

MUMBAI: Ever imagined grooving to music, with no dance floor? Giving the audience a break from the usual dance based reality shows, Life OK is all set to give the format a twist.

Moving away from all the common theories of a huge stage where contestants showcase their talents, the show will have no dance floor to perform. Christened Dare 2 Dance, the contestants will be challenged to perform in the most difficult situations on land, water or air.

Produced by SOL Productions, it is all about taking risks and re-inventing oneself. The Khiladi Akshay Kumar will take the mantle of a host, while he would also be seen playing a mentor to the contestants as he challenges contestants to dance on a narrow wall or even under water. Kumar will first demonstrate the format to each contestant with a commitment of a ‘first of its kind’ show.

The channel has got Micromax on-board as its presenting sponsor and Honda as the powered by sponsor along with eight associate sponsors. According to a media planner, the title sponsorship is pretty high and would be around Rs 15 crore and powered by sponsor will be 15 per cent less.

Life OK EVP and general manager Ajit Thakur states that getting Kumar on-board was the perfect choice. The channel wanted somebody who has been both seen as a dancer and a stunt hero. He adds, “Kumar has successfully managed to challenge the status quo with his constant need to push the envelope and move beyond the common. It was this need to challenge the norms and do something different that brought us together.”

Thakur says that for a very long time the channel wanted to tap into the dance space, but couldn’t come up with an idea which could act as a differentiator. “But then we found Dare 2 Dance which went one step further with no stage or a set, but in open air on different locations.”

Sharing his sentiments on coming on board for Dare 2 Dance, Kumar says, “What I like the most about the show, is the fact that it puts the contestants out of their comfort zone and challenges them. I've been so excited about it, right from the word go, and it's been an amazing experience.”

It has got 10 challenge takers on-board. Out of the 10, only two are actors, while the others are choreographers who have made a name in the fraternity by winning several dance reality shows. There are three international contestants as well, namely Emille Callion, a professional dancer from Paris, Scarlett Wilson, a British model and dancer and Karan Pangali a trained Kathak dancer originally from U.K. Among the actors are Ritwik Dhanjani who also got to fame as a winner of Nach Baliye, Sayantani Ghosh and Kunwar Amar, who shot to fame after Zee TV’s dance reality show Dance India Dance. The choreographers include Sanam Johar, Prince, Alisha Singh and Mayuresh Wadkar.

“We needed people to dance at heights and inside water. So where you can’t even stand, they have to dance. We needed only accomplished dancers and that is why roped in dancers who had won many reality shows and became choreographers,” reasons Thakur.

The highlight of the show is that it will see no eliminations for the first four weeks. “Contestants have rehearsed and worked very hard for it and so we thought it wasn’t fair from our part to eliminate them in the first week itself. So the eliminations will happen only after the fourth week,” informs Thakur.

Moreover contestants will be given green or red card every week and the ones who will accumulate more number of green cards will have the chance of winning the show. The contestants will be challenged to prove their mettle as ‘Extreme Dance Ke Heroes’ in a hope to rise above all odds. Thakur reveals that many have walked out of the show after being told of the challenges. The lucky winner of the show along with a cash prize will get a Honda CBR 250R motorcycle.

Except for the finale, all the other episodes have already been canned in Cape Town in South Africa. The show will spread for 16 episodes. While it has been choreographed by Sanjay Shetty and his team of professionals, the stunts have been designed by stunt co-ordinator and performer Francois Grobbelaar, who has earlier worked on a number of Hollywood and Bollywood projects.

It has also left no stone unturned to ensure that contestants are left unhurt, and have taken a lot of safety measures into consideration. For every round, every platform has a safety auditor who would make his team of professionals go through the entire round and give an ok to it. Moreover, an ambulance was always kept on a standby.

It took six months for the channel to plan and get things into place. Deciding the location was a tough task for the GEC. “You can’t shoot this anywhere in the world. You need to have that level of safety and different geographical elements which allows you to use different things,” opines Thakur.

Thakur informs that around 30 per cent of the budget of the series will be spent on marketing. Since there are several foreign participants, apart from advertising on channels, newspaper, hoardings and radio announcements, social media will be used heavily to reach to the viewers overseas.

Though Thakur refused to divulge any financial details regarding production cost of the show, sources close to the development reveal that the production cost per episode is anywhere between Rs 2-3 crore, this includes Kumar’s fee. The show will be aired from 6 September, every weekend at 8.30pm.

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