Aug 22, 2016

Dance Shows on TV – To Be or Not To Be?

R Jayaraman

Recently I saw an article in a newspaper website where Chetan Bhagat has written something about the “Reality Dance Shows.” The term “Reality Show” is a contradiction, an oxymoron, with less oxygen than what the “oxy” could indicate. Participants are pre-decided, they practise their lives off, come to the venue fully prepared, some even discuss a few things with the judges, and so on. If this is “reality” then I will have nothing of it. At best one can say that such shows are Live shows, even that is probably not correct, as they are all pre-recorded. Reality is when things happen spontaneously, when no one announces them, least of all judges them.

I was tempted to read the blog by Chetan Bhagat. I did and was not convinced that it was actually written by him. Don’t ask me why, the style was not his, that is my overall view. Still, the point that was being blogged about was that dance should not be judged. If not then who will watch them? How can someone make money out of them? The whole idea of judging is not only to create some excitement and competition but to create a whole ambience with emotions riding high, with a studio audience (are they coached prior to the show?) seemingly rapturous, aided ably by some of the judges who, as if on cue, do many things to heat up the happenings on the stage. To an extent that sometimes you start wondering whether there is more action amongst the judges than the action on the stage. Changing reality?

A dance reality show is an experience, and should not be judged for anything else. The TRP is one instrument, to which the TV channels pay a lot of attention, but other things, like good dance moves, the quality of the moves, the sublimity quotient, the index of how positive reactions were generated, and, finally, did everyone go home with a sense of well being and goodness, are other aspects which need to be considered. And not get entangled into arguments as to how the judges were poor in their judgment, how the judges did what the TV channel asked them to do, how things were “pre-fixed” and so on. But you be the judge as to what really happens after the show is over?

While the competition brings about better preparation, newer ideas, revealing newer moves and leads to higher levels of co-ordination, there are other aspects. Chetan blogs mainly based on his personal experiences. But I think that is keeping the circle of experience too close to one’s chest and, when blogging about a reality show, some broader vistas could be viewed and used to enrich content. Else there is a fear that the reality of the dance shows may never really come close to reality. Let’s keep dancing and blogging!

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