Who is Terence Lewis?
Terence Lewis is a famous Indian dancer and choreographer, who is trained in Indian folk, contemporary and neo-classical dance forms. He has choreographed many film songs, International stage shows, Bollywood shows, Indian contemporary performances, Western musicals, popular music videos and Broadway Western musicals.Terence is one of the few Indian choreographers to break into the international dancing scene. He was trained in Jazz, Ballet and contemporary dance at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. He also completed contemporary dance training at New York’s Martha Graham Centre of Contemporary Dance. All this training transformed him into a remarkable dancer and mentor. He is the face of Bollywood entertainment today. Whilst being a celebrity choreographer, Terence continued to scale heights by instituting the ‘Terence Lewis Contemporary Dance Company’. This awesome choreographer is the first ever Indian to receive the ‘Dance Web Europe’ scholarship, the felicitation of which was held at Vienna, Austria. His foray into the Indian Bollywood scene kick-started with choreographing songs in movies like ‘Jhankaar Beats’, ‘Naach’, ‘Aisha’, ‘Isi Life Mein’ and ‘What’s Your Rashee’. His choreography for the iconic movie ‘Lagaan’ won him worldwide fame and many accolades.
Childhood & Early Life
Terrence Lewis was born on April 10, 1975, as the youngest and eighth child of Xavier Lewis and Teresa Lewis. He was born and brought up in Mumbai.
He studied at St Theresa School, Mumbai. He was an academically brilliant student who scored straight A’s. He discovered his love for dance when mentored by his first dance teacher, Ms. Pervez Shetty who taught him the basics in Jazz and Ballet.
He struggled to continue dance training after his schooling due to lack of financial resources. But his philosophy--'ATM'- Absorb, Try and Master—motivated him to keep going.
He pursued microbiology at the prestigious St. Xavier’s college, Mumbai. Financial constraints compelled him to switch to hotel management and psychology.
Being highly educated opened gates for a financially top-of-the-line job. With this new found security, he set out to realize his dream and started from scratch in the field of dance.
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In 2001 he got the chance to choreograph his first dance in an Indian Hindi Movie. It was a ballroom waltz, titled ‘Waltz for a Romance’ in the super hit film ‘Lagaan’.
In 2003, an immensely popular song ‘Dil Ne Tumko’ from the Hindi movie ‘Jhankaar Beats’ was choreographed by him.
Over the next three years, he choreographed popular music videos from films such as John Mathew’s ‘Shikhar’, Ram Gopal Verma’s ‘Nach’, and Adnan Sami’s ‘Kasam’ with Amisha Patel and Stereo Nation's ‘Ishq’ with Koena Mitra and Shaan.
He teaches Bollywood and Indian contemporary dance in ‘Impulstanz Festival’ at Vienna, Austria, and has been doing so since 2007. This international assignment is a great achievement for the Mumbai lad.
He was one of the judges on the dance competition show, ‘Dance India Dance’ which premiered in 2009. It is a dance based reality show where dancers from a variety of styles participate. This show boosted his popularity and made him a household name.
Along with his dancing skill, he is a daredevil too. He has performed in the Indian version of ‘Fear Factor’ and in ‘Khatron ke Khiladi’ season 3 in 2010.
He has judged popular dance reality shows like ‘Nach Baliye 5’, ‘Hindustaan Ke Hunarbaaz’ which was aired for a brief period on ‘Life Ok’ and ‘Nach Baliye Shriman v/s Shrimati’ in 2013.
He was one of the choreographers who worked in the award winning movie ‘Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela’ in 2013. The dance sequences in the film were highly appreciated.
His popularity peaked after his participation as one of the judges in the TV dance reality show ‘Dance India Dance’. His team ‘Terence Ki Toli’ won the show in season 2 under his mentorship.
He holds the Guinness world record for choreographing 1336 people together in a song, the highest number of people choreographed on a single stage.
Awards & Achievements
Terence Lewis won the ‘American Choreography Award’ in 2001 for his excellent choreography for the songs of the movie ‘Lagaan’ along with Ganesh Hegde, Vaibhavi Merchant, Saroj Khan and Raju Khan.
He represented Asia in 2012 at the TANZ platform at the International Choreographers’ Meet which was held in Stuttgart, Germany.
He received the Best Choreographer Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for ‘Finding Marina’ and ‘The Children of the Sea’ in 2006. These two musicals were choreographed with the survivors of the Tsunami disaster.
Personal Life & Legacy
He was born as the youngest child in a large, poor family. Growing up with seven older siblings taught him patience, determination and understanding which helped him become the sensitive and efficient mentor he is to numerous dance students.
A choreographer by profession, he has worked as a fitness trainer for Bollywood actors like Madhuri Dixit, Amisha Patel, Antara Mali, Malaika Arora amongst others.
This young Indian Choreographer started his dance career by giving dance tuitions to little children and choreographing small events in schools and colleges to help him bear his expenses.