Amika Shail: It is important to respect the profession of dancers
I am a workaholic and I will always be grateful that I bagged 5digital and 2 television series during the pandemic. – Amika Shail
Amika Shail, a singer turned actor and a fitness freak will now be seen on a Disney + Hotstar series 'Nachaniya'. Amika started her journey of singing at the age of 5 as she was inspired by her mother who was also a singer.
During her childhood days, she has participated in various singing reality shows like Sa re ga ma Little Champs, Amul Star Voice of India, Bharat ki Shaan and many more. It has been years since, Amika has been into singing and has her own YouTube channel where she posts her music albums. It has been 2 years that she has been into acting.
Amika will now be seen in Nachaniya, which is slated for release on Disney + Hotstar. Nachaniya is a working title of the series and the production house will change its name shortly. Directed by Shraddha Pasi, the series revolves around the story of 3 female friends who entertain people in villages with dance performances.
It also features actors such as Vikram Singh Chauhan, Sandeepa Dhar, Nimai Bali and Deepak Qazir. Amika will be seen playing the character of this girl called Dhaani who is also the second female lead of the series.
Sharing about her role, Amika shares, "The story of the series revolves around 3 female friends. All three of them are village dancers but their personalities are quiet opposite of each other. If we talk about Dhaani in particular then she is a naive village belle and lives in her fantasy land. Although she is a dancer yet she doesn't want to pursue it as her profession. She wants to get married and have a family, romance her prince charming and live in her dream world. She even tried to convince her best friend to give up her carrier ambitions and get married. In all we can say that Dhaani is a very bubbly and full of life kind of a person who is not very ambitious about her dancing carrier."
Amika shares that her character is something different from the rest of her works, where she had her own challenges to get into the skin of the character.
"It took me some time to understand the personality of Dhaani completely. She is very different from the kind of person I am in real life. While I am very carrier oriented and focused on my work, Dhaani on the other hand loves to live in her dreamland and it not concerned about her carrier. Although Dhaani is very bubbly and fun loving yet she has her differences with her friends when they fail to understand her perspective. The character has a lot of shades in herself. She plays a main role in the climax of the show. You will know more about it once the series is on the OTT. Although she is a naive belle yet sometimes it is a challenge to portray that simplicity on screen," adds the singer turned actress.
Amika shares that her immediate release is the web series called Nachaniya on Disney + Hotstar and another one titled Video call which will be released on a new OTT platform called Cine Prime. It is a Horror series. Coincidentally another of her upcoming series on Tamasha is also titled Nachaniya, where Amika will be seen playing the main lead.
'Nachaniya' is often termed in a negative way
'There are still people who call professional dancers as Nachaniya. What would you like to say about it?'
Nachaniya is actually a Hindi term used for dancers and I understand that people have associated it with some kind of a taboo or something that is asocial. I do not think that it should be termed in a negative way. Like all other trades being a dancer also can be a respectable profession. But due to certain reasons that have crept into this profession, people have started looking down upon them.
One shouldn't generalize, rather if you take a look at our series, it is a very clean and family friendly show. It talks about the dreams and aspirations of these dancers. The way they move around villages and entertain people with their performances. You can call them glamorous but not in a derogatory sense. Instead of looking down upon these dancers one should rather consider them as an artist. And like all other art forms they have chosen this form to fulfil their ambitions and also for seeking their livelihood. I do not find anything derogatory in this term Nachaniya. Let's respect their profession and the art form.
There has been a lot of taboo around working women and artists in particular. People try to associate them with something that is defamatory. But I fail to understand this taboo around it. When a women dresses in a particular way that her art form requires her to do, it does not at all mean that she is inviting men to be physical with her. Since the history known we have had examples of female dancers. They were highly respected and well paid. They were central to the advance of Music, Dance, literature, Theatre in the country. But since then, they have just seen the path of defamation. The perception of people penetrates deep in the society and it will need revolutionary reforms to change this idea of associating everything that a woman does as an invitation to men. I would say that it is the perception of the men that is a problematic sign rather than the profession of the women.