The Many Moves of Raghav Juyal
Juyal during the show at Qurm Amphitheatre
Juyal interacts with members of the audience
Juyal with choreographer Remo D’Souza
A still from ABCD 2 (Supplied photos)
A young kid on the block, Raghav Juyal, is transforming the fast paced rhythms of Bollywood with his slow-motion dancing.
The ‘King of Slow Motion’, as Juyal is oft described, was recently in the sultanate to attend a cultural festival hosted by the Delicious Dance Academy. “The ovation and support of the crowd left me amazed and I think this show in Oman was one of the best I’ve been to so far in the Middle East,“ says Juyal.
As Juyal sits across the table for the interview, it is easy to notice that he is an excellent conversationalist with a great sense of humour. He casually remarks that nowadays people get straight to business without even striking a conversation. He says it does not work like that where he comes from - Uttarakhand in India.
“How are you? Where are you from? What is the culture like from where you come... .These are questions that we’ve forgotten to ask people we meet nowadays.”
How did his career in dancing come about? Juyal animatedly goes back to the time when he ventured into dancing, and one can’t help noticing that it’s been all about dance for him since the beginning.
“I was always good at dancing and acting since I was a child, I wasn’t interested in studies...concentrating more on extracurricular activities and dance even then.”
He was a finalist in the cult reality dancing show, Dance India Dance. Impressed by his distinct style, ace choreographer Remo D’Souza, a judge on the show, offered him a role in his directorial venture ABCD 2, along with Varun Dhawan, Shraddha Kapoor and Prabhudeva.
“ABCD 2 was an amazing experience; the entire movie was like an ongoing party that we shot in Vegas,” says Juyal recollecting the shoots.
His popular stage name, ‘Crockroaxz’, Juyal says, is something that his friends bestowed upon him. “They said that my dance is as powerful as a crocodile and as creepy as a cockroach. It is still on my e-mail address. It’s something I might have to live with forever.”
Talking about his distinct slow motion style, Juyal says his philosophy of dance was inspired by the fast-paced life of Mumbai.
“I am from the small town of Dehradun, where life goes on at a slow pace in contrast to Mumbai. Therefore, in order to stand out in the crowd, I developed and stuck to this style of slow motion dancing. “Also, I’ve always been slow in life - in my studies and in all other aspects. I took this opportunity to turn my weakness into my professional strength.”
It’s hard to miss the humour in his words. Juyal says that the dance industry in India has grown beyond comparison.
“There was a time when it was all about dancing behind a star. But now the dancer, too has become a star.”
He cites the example of ABCD 2 saying the movie is all about dance and celebrates dancers. The industry, he says, has presented him a diverse landscape where he can experiment with myriad creative concepts. Despite fame,Juyal says his lifestyle and values remain the same.
“I have five close friends since childhood with whom I travel and go on treks. It’s the same simple life that I continue to enjoy.”