Bollywood Choreographers Who Turned Directors

Bollywood Choreographers Who Turned Directors

29 May 18 @ 3:46 PM | By Ravi

No Indian movie is complete without songs and no song is complete without dance and expressions. Initially, the director himself would allot a few steps to the actors without much movement and a song picturization would be canned. This was followed by directors calling professional dancers to teach a few dance steps and lip sync to a song and one would get to see the word Dances by in the film credits. Later, the word Dances was changed to Choreography where the director and dance master would conceive a song according to the script before its picturization. Choreography soon got its due recognition as a full-fledged career for many. Film direction was considered a natural transition after choreography for some as they started searching for scripts woven around dance and songs but with minimal success. Soon they realized direction is no cake walk as it’s more than just choreographing songs. Some of our Bollywood choreographers took the bait and decided to go that extra mile by wielding the megaphone. Here are the 11 choreographers who tested their luck at movie direction:

  1. Uday Shankar

    Uday Shankar was best known his fusion and Indian classical dance styles including folk and tribal. A recipient of many awards including the Sangeet Natak Akademi and the Padma Vibhushan for his contribution towards Indian classical dance, which he popularized in India and around the world. He produced, wrote and directed the 1948 classic Kalpana which featured his wife Amala Shankar along with him.

  2. Guru Dutt

    Not many know that Guru Dutt started his career by playing small cameos and assisting directors like Vishram Bedekar in 1946. He also choreographed songs for a few films which included P. L. Santoshi’s Hum Ek Hain where his old friend Dev Anand made his acting debut. Guru Dutt got his first big break as director in Navketan's Baazi, which was released in 1951 and was a big success. He dominated the 50’s and 60’s and went on to make classics like Pyaasa, Kaagaz Ke Phool, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam, Aar Paar, Mr. & Mrs. 55 and Chaudhvin Ka Chand. Watch the classic film Aar Paar (1954) directed by Guru Dutt. Starring: Guru Dutt, Shyama, Jagdish Sethi and Johnny Walker.

  3. Chinni Prakash

    Chinni Prakash made his debut as a choreographer in the Govinda – Mandakini starrer Pyaar Karke Dekho in 1987. He got his big break when he choreographed the song Jumma Chumma from the movie Hum in 1991. Since then he has never looked backed and gave one hit after another by choreographing in films like Saajan (1991), Khuda Gawah (1992), Khiladi (1992), Mohra (1994), etc. He donned the mantle of a director when he directed the social drama Ghoonghat in 1997 starring Ayesha Jhulka and Inder Kumar. 

  4. B. H. Tharun Kumar

    B.H. Tharun Kumar started off as an assistant choreographer to Vijay-Oscar in the 70’s by appearing as a support dancer to many actors. After going solo he has choreographed innumerable Bollywood songs since the 80’s to this date. His work in Darr, Andaaz, Shola Aur Shabnam, Bol Radha Bol, etc. He made his directorial debut with Nayee Padosan in 2003 which was a remake of Indru Poi Naalai Vaa, a Tamil super hit. 

  5. Ahmed Khan

    Ahmed Khan started his film career as one of the child artistes in Mr. India in 1987. He worked as assistant choreographer in Anjaam before going solo in films like Rangeela, Taal, Ghajini, Bachna Ae Haseeno, etc. He made his directorial debut with Lakeer – Forbidden Lines in 2004 starring John Abraham, Sunny Deol, Sohail Khan and Suneil Shetty. His second directorial Fool N Final starring Sunny Deol, Vivek Oberoi, Shahid Kapoor and Ayesha Takia in the lead roles also fared poorly at the box-office.

  6. Farah Khan

    Farah Khan is an actress, director, producer and choreographer who has served Bollywood for quite a while. She started off as an assistant director to Mansoor Khan in Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar in 1992 but happened to choreograph the song Pehla Nasha in Saroj Khan’s absence for some reason. From then on she was choreographing dance routines for more than a hundred songs in over 80 Hindi films which included Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and many others. She made her directorial debut with Main Hoon Na which released in 2004. Watch all the songs of Main Hoon Na.

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  8. Ganesh Acharya

    Ganesh Acharya is a regular in Hindi films when it comes to choreographing songs. Be it dancing, acting or choreographing he gives his best. He started choreographing at a very young age in 1990 for the film Khatarnaak where he choreographed a song for Govinda. He decided to try his hand at film direction with Swami (2007), which was also produced and written by him. The film starred Manoj Bajpai and Juhi Chawla. Watch Money Hai Toh Honey Hai here.

  9. Prabhu Deva

    Prabhu Deva is a multi-talented personality possessing the skill of direction, acting and choreographing all rolled in one. He started as a dancer in his father’s troupe down south. He choreographed his first Hindi song in Chiranjeevi’s 1992 hit Aaj Ka Goondaraj. He then choreographed in Pukar, Lakshya, No Entry and most of his directorial ventures. He had already directed a few films down south before wielding the megaphone for his first film Wanted in 2009 which had Salman Khan. The film was a huge success and subsequently went on to also direct Rowdy Rathore, Ramaiya Vastavaiya, Action Jackson, R... Rajkumar and Singh Is Bliing. Watch Rowdy Rathore full movie here.

  10. Remo D'Souza

    Remo is an ace choreographer, actor and director who started his career doing bit roles in films before taking up choreography full time with Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar in 2000. He went on to choreograph for films like Kaante, Aksar, 36 China Town, Apna Sapna Money Money, Rock On!!, Patiala House, Student of the Year, Krrish 3, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, etc. His directorial debut was F.A.L.T.U. in 2011 which did decent business at box office. He followed it up with ABCD: Any Body Can Dance in 2013 which was based on dance. He came up with its sequel ABCD 2 in 2015 which did a business of over 100 crores. Enjoy all the video songs of ABCD 2 and ABCD full movie.

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  12. Ganesh Hegde

    He is the latest choreographer to join the bandwagon of bollywood directors. Ganesh Hegde has been around for quite a while now and has tried his hand in playback singing, composing music and judging many dance shows. He is credited with choreographing some very popular dance numbers like – Babuji zara dheere chalo from Dum, Khallas from Company, Its magic, its magic from Koi Mil Gaya and Chammak challo from Ra.One. He is expected to begin shooting early next year in 2016 which is going to be an entertainer.

    Ganesh Hegde
    Ganesh Hegde
  13. Kamal Master

    Popularly known as Kamal Master, he started as an assistant choreographer in 1963 before going solo with Husn Aur Ishq: Alif Laila in 1966. Kamal went on to choreograph for over 500 Bollywood Movies which included Sachcha Jhutha, Amar Akbar Anthony, Coolie, Sharaabi, etc. He turned writer and director in 1993 with the film Chahoonga Main Tujhe where he launched his son Irfan Kamal as a leading actor but the film flopped badly at the box-office.