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It is serendipitous that this is my final review before embarking on my sixth excursion to India; intoxicating, enchanting, addictive India whose tentacles have enchained my heart, refusing to unleash me from the exotic lure of its compelling, mysterious, engaging ancient culture; I have relinquished the struggle, always returning;  exiting altered, rejuvenated. India is a classroom, unearthing possibilities, long dormant, unknown sensibilities ignited by its prismatic aura. India is light, life.

“ABCD:Any Body Can Dance” is a joyous romp, gravity-defying, stunning, creative choreography; Bollywood, defined by its dance sequences, can categorize this film, in a realm of its own; three- dimension enhances the aerobic abilities of the gifted cast; contortionists, rubber, elastic-limbed, soaring on winged feet through streets, rain, smoke; nullifying any limitations to the art of dance.

A predictable, stale scenario: friends, dance impresarios, part ways, become competitors, training their groups to compete in the Ganpati Dance Battle. “Vishnu” (Prabhu Deva) fired by his partner “Jahangir Khan” ( Kay Kay Menon; a Hugh Grant lookalike)  garnishes talented neophytes from the mean, gang- infested streets of Mumbai; the training and rehearsals of these feisty, skilled, undisciplined young people is riveting; Vishnu, named after the Hindu God,( preserver of the universe), is intransigent in exacting discipline from his students; he suffers no infractions of his dictates; he becomes a punitive “god” to his pupils, feared and revered.

A touch of Shakespearian comic relief is donated by the delightful Ganesh Acharyaas as “Gopi” a corpulent, Falstaff figure, rigid supporter of Vishnu; he is the foil actualizing the success, vanquishing the vicissitudes visited upon the aspiring, first- time competitors.

The film, for all of its iconic numbers, belongs to Prabhu Deva; his solo, chimerical, electric performance on a night club stage was more than magical, it was profound; a superlative blend of Baryshnikov and Billy Elliot; astonishingly astral, his brilliance: supreme, unequaled, amongst the divine, dance masters of the universe.

Maybe “any body can dance” but not like this, never like this.

THREE & 1/2 STARS!!!

For Now…………Peneflix

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  1. You probably had at least one previous incarnation in India.

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