Television

Zee TV readies stage for DID season 5

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MUMBAI: The passion, frenzy, camaraderie, rehearsals, victories, disappointments, and above all the spectacular talent is back as the biggest battle for the coveted title will soon begin.

Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) Zee TV is back with its flagship dance reality show - Dance India Dance (DID) season5, starting 27 June.  Produced by Essel Vision Productions, the programme will air every Saturday-Sunday at 9 pm.

Re-designing the format this season, DID will present itself in the form of the ‘Biggest Battleground of Dance’, where each participant will scale new horizons of perfection, poise, presence and grace and challenge the others to #BeatThat.

To groom and hone the talent is an all-new trio of masters who bring with them the renewed vigour of youth, an undying passion for dance and many years of training as dancers and choreographers.

The panel includes DID season 4 judge and choreographer Mudassar Khan, Gaiti Siddiqui, who has been a coach and creative guide for countless DID stars over the years and DID season 2 finalist Punit Pathak.

The trio will each mentor a group of contestants and polish their skills through rigorous training, workshops and choreography that push their limits. While actor Mithun Chakravarty will guide and motivate contestants as the Grandmaster, Jay Bhanushali returns as the host.

Essel Vision Productions business head Akash Chawla believes that it was high time for the channel to re-design and break the predictability of the format. “There have been four seasons of DID so far. Not just that, we had sub-franchises like DID Super Moms, Lil Masters, not forgetting the other dance reality shows which came up after DID. From an audience point of view, we thought this was the right time to break the predictability of the format, thus surprising audiences with something which they might not even expect from the show,” he adds.

Zee TV business head Pradeep Hejmadi says that he wanted to get the GenNext as masters for better connect with participants and audience. “With the young masters, you can actually create that kind of language and chemistry,” he reasons.

The 15 week season will see weekly eliminations basis the judge’s scorecards till it gets its top 10, after which the junta will decide  who amongst their favourite contestants will be the winner.

Chawla further explains that it is just not an overnight job but takes six-eight months of hard work before the show goes on-floor. A nationwide hunt to scout for India’s most talented dancers began earlier this year across 17 cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Indore, Ranchi, Guwahati, Raipur, Siliguri, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Bhubaneshwar, Jaipur, Patna, Lucknow, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Nagpur and Vadodara.  Contestants underwent layers of screening and finally the most deserving candidates were hand-picked.

Moreover, apart from physical auditions, talent was picked from other mediums as well like digital, dancing schools, talent scouting agencies etc. The channel has canned the auditions round and is on its way of shortlisting its top 16 contestants.

“When we go to small towns, participants come and tell us that while they have the option to opt for the numerous dance reality shows on other channels, they wait only for DID. At times it is very difficult to disqualify contestants. The talent this time will speak for itself,” opines Chawla.

According to Chawla, it is not just about the hard work but also those hard calls, right from changing the format to getting new masters which makes or breaks a show. “These are not simple calls because you have already tasted success. People already know Geeta, Remo and Terence as masters of DID, so the first shot with new masters while is scary, it is also exciting. For people working behind the camera, the success of the season will be determined by how the new masters are accepted,” he adds.

The show has envisioned three core elements i.e level of dancing, level of training and the new format. Chawla opines that the format of the non-fiction indigenous talent hunt shows which the Indian market produces is not handled in the best manner.

“If you look at the International formats or those formats which are acquired for Indian audiences, the core of the show is to keep alive the entertainment and surprise quotient. And therefore with this one, we not only have tried to change the format but have put a lot of rigor and hard work with the available international learnings that we have had across the years to build a format which we believe will get on to the international platform.”

This season, the channel plans to give talents an opportunity to perform at the global platform post the show. Chawla points out that one of the key selection criteria this season was to see if contestants have the courage to compete with international performers. “Even if the talent is raw and ready to learn, we believe in giving them a chance. The masters are there to polish the talent in contestants,” he says. 

DID has always been a property that has not just fetched good numbers for the Zeel flagship channel, but also attracted good ad revenue. According to sources, the property is expected to earn Rs 90-95 crore this season.

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