Kazi began to show his dancing talent at the tender age of six.
He stepped into profession alism six years later. By 12, Kazi was
already touring with an Arabian band all over the Middle East. Kazi
had a natural talent for dancing and had not received any training.
"I have never been to a dance class in my life," said Kazi
who shared his success story with The Sunday Leader.
Kazi, born in Mumbai, had been taken to Kuwait by his parents
when he was six months old and lived there for 18 years till the
family left Kuwait due to the Gulf War. For Kazi, whose idols happen
to be Black Americans, dancing has always been and remains the
passion of his life. "The Black Americans are the most graceful
dancers in the world. They have dancing in their blood," he
However, his father, Dawood Ali Kazi and mother Shamim Dawood
Kazi, both hailing from an orthodox Muslim family initially opposed
their younger son’s interest in ‘showbiz.’ "My father,
after 47 years of service in Kuwait now lives a retired, tranquil
life in Mumbai with his dutiful wife. My only brother Suhail, who is
two years elder to me, is employed in Kuwait and we are best of
friends. He is supportive of me in every respect and my parents too
have now understood that I was born to be what I am today,"
He decided to satisfy his parents and as a result, studied at the
Indian School in Kuwait, completed college in Mumbai and graduated
with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the Rizvi Collge in Mumbai,
India. "I graduated mainly to please my parents," he said
with a mischievous smile.
Kazi found his life partner from another country — Sri Lanka.
He is married to Sheersha Perera, a Sri Lankan, who is a permanent
resident of Australia. Perera is a film maker by profession and was
also one of the first radio presenters on TNL radio in the early ’90s.
Kazi believes that one should meet the requirments of the clients
to be a choreographer. "At least having a basic kowledge of
every form of dancing in existence is a prerequisite to become a
good choreographer," he said. Kazi has specialised in hip hop
and Latin American styles of dancing such as salsa, merengue and
He is also an expert in Arabian styles of dancing as well as the
Bolly-wood styles of dancing. In fact, he is a unique combination of
all forms of dance.
Just last week (May 12), the audience was stunned to see Kazi’s
amazing performance at the Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention
Centre. He was performing in the opening act of the Chillies 2007,
is the premier advertising awards in Sri Lanka.
"I work with absolute freelancers from whichever part of the
world I am in, and the number of dancers required for each show
varies. However, I’m blessed to have this amazing working
relationship with every team that I have worked with so far," a
delighted Kazi said. At the moment he is based in Sri Lanka, but
will be on his way to Melbourne in June. However, he will return to
Sri Lanka, as he is lined up for a whole range of projects.
Kazi has an extremely supportive team behind his successful
career. "Every individual has helped me immensely along the
way. The costume designers, fashion designers, hair and make-up
artistes and the great performers are all part of my life.
Especially, without performers, a choreographer is absolutely
zero," he said.
Kazi has worked in Bollywood for 11 years. His mentor is India’s
pioneer music video director Kenghosh. "I worked with his
institute known as Shadow Films (Pvt) Ltd., as an executive
producer. In Bollywood, everyone requires a ‘godfather,’ who is
a personality that promotes you. Likewise, my godfather was Kenghosh
and he is solely responsible for making me the man I am today,"
said a grateful Kazi.
Kazi admires Bollywood personalities like Saroj Khan, Farah Khan,
Ganesh Hegde and Ahmed Khan who all are choreographers. Kazi has
worked with all except Saroj Khan. His heroes in the West are
Michael Flatley and Paula Abdul.
During the rehearsals for the Chillies, Kazi under went a
heartbreaking situation, which he finds hard to overcome. A.K.
Asitha Anuradha (26) a team member, had died, while rehearsing on
stage due to a major heart attack. Speaking of the incident Kazi
says, "It was indeed a hard moment in my life. As a dedication
to him, the performers, the crew, the assistant choreographers and I
decided to dedicate the entire performance of the opening act at the
Chillies to Asitha.We miss him dearly and may his soul rest in
peace," Kazi said in a pensive mood.
Being a veteran dance choreographer, Kazi says that it takes a
lot of courage and effort to step on stage and perform.
"Everybody who gets there is an outright winner. Specially, Sri
Lankans should believe in themselves and their people. The people of
Sri Lanka, in terms of arts and performers are indeed a national
treasure," Kazi said.
Bollywood is No.1
The only difference Kazi experienced working with Sri Lankan
performers is that their pace of work is slightly slower than in
other parts of the world."Bollywood by far is number one in the
movie industry. It is not even fair to compare Sri Lanka with such a
vast place, because Sri Lanka is an extremely small island. Being
slow could eventually be corrected," he said.
Kazi extends his appreciation to Corinne Lucy Howlett who was
part and parcel of his projects in Sri Lanka. Howlett is a
professional hair and make up artiste who has groomed internatinal
celebrities including outgoing British PM Tony Blair.
Kazi also thanks Bathiya and Santhush, the entire Chillies
committee, and his dearest friend Adrian Ferdinand.
Kazi hopes to do a couple of music videos and musical films for
Hollywood in time to come.
Audiences in Colombo, Galle and Tissamaharama will have the
opportunity to see Sunera Foundation’s latest Drama The Last
Two Minutes, which will be staged in Debarawewa Central College
at 2.30 p.m. and 6.30 p.m. on May 26; Galle Town Hall at 2.30 p.m.
and 6.30 p.m on May 27 and the Bishop’s College Auditorium at 7.15
p.m. on May 29 and 30. Tickets will be available at the performance
The Last Two Minutes has been directed by Kalasuri Rohana
Deva and choreographed by Ramani Damayanthi. Music is by Janaka
Fonseka. The Last Two Minutes thrilled audiences at the
Biennale of Theatre and Psychiatry in Northern Italy last year,
where it won a Special Jury Award.
This time, Sunera will be showcasing the creative talents of some
of the members of Sunera’s performing arts workshops for those who
have been traumatised by the tsunami.
In its Tsunami Theatre Outreach Project (T-TOP) which functions
in six districts, Sunera makes use of the performing arts to provide
a therapeutic benefit to hundreds of children who were traumatised
by the 2004 tsunami.
This project is funded by Deutsche Bank, Global Fund for
Children, East-West Centre Hawaii, American Jewish Joint
Distribution Committee, The Force of Nature Foundation and Siege
The Thomians are now putting the final touches for the mega
production, Rally Round The College Flag in May and June.
This year, the production will feature the present students
ranging from five years to 18 years. The kindergarten and form one
students will perform the kids songs from Barney, clad in theme
costumes brilliantly executed by Sharmila Fernando and her team.
The 8-10 year olds will be clad in costumes from Walt Disney
singing their way from favourites like Parent Trap, Lion
King, The Jungle Book and many more.
The middle school singers are busy learning many styles of dance
to suit songs from The King And I, Wild Cat, Wizard Of Oz, Peter
Pan And friends.
The senior section will be singing, a medley from Les
Miserable’s, Aspect Of Love. The old boys section will
feature two past choir leaders , Dayan Fernando and Rumesh Fonseka.
Production design direction — Vinodh Senadeera, choreography
— Mohan Sudusinghe, costumes — Sharmila Fernando, sets and
lights — Nimal Bulathsinhala, sound — Jerry Jayasinghe, and
outside entertainment — Imran Pakeer Saibu.
Tickets are available at the college gym, Liberty Plaza, Premium
Stationers, and Janashakthi Office.
The show commences at 7.30 p.m on May 25, 26, 27 and June1, 2 and
By Nirmala Kannangara
Browns Beach Hotel, Negombo won the Vesak Lan
tern competition organised by the Negombo Mu
nicipality. Among the Negombo Hoteliers, Browns
Beach Hotel’s rotating lantern, which used degradable and
discarded hotel items received first place.
An exercise bicycle was used for the rotation and the hotel staff
members peddled the bicycle to make the lantern rotate while a
rechargeable solar powered battery provided electricity for
"We did not spend money on this lantern and since Browns
Beach is an environment friendly hotel the Maintenance Department
made full use of all the discarded materials in the hotel,"
General Manager, Upul Peiris told The Sunday Leader.
While thanking the hotel team for a collective job, Peiris said
that mud was used to colour the lantern. "Since we decided not
to spend money on this lantern we used natural mud to colour it
which looked so nice. All the materials used were re-usable such as
gunny bags, exercise bicycle, wood, clay, iron and ropes. Our main
objective was to introduce basic technology, less manpower and to be
cost effective for which we were rewarded. More than the award we
are proud of the response we received from the public" added