One STEP UP

AF­TER HIS EMMY NOM­I­NA­TION, SURESH MUKUND FINDS THE WORLD IS AT HIS DANC­ING FEET

India Today - - LEISURE - —Anu Prab­hakar

Hav­ing led Kings United aka The Kings—his Bol­ly­wood hip-hop troupe—to vic­tory on NBC’s show World of Dance in May this year, chore­og­ra­pher Suresh Mukund was dis­cussing fu­ture plans with his fa­ther when his phone buzzed. “World fa­mous chore­og­ra­phers Tabitha and Napoleon D’umo had sent me a mes­sage, con­grat­u­lat­ing me. They then tagged me in a post which said that I had been nom­i­nated for an Emmy [for ‘Out­stand­ing Chore­og­ra­phy for Va­ri­ety or Re­al­ity Programmin­g’],” he says. Since their stint on the NBC show, The Kings mem­bers have been busy with world tours, shows and dance work­shops. Mukund has also chore­ographed

a song for the Varun Dhawan-star­rer Street Dancer 3D and has plans to open And­heri’s big­gest dance academy. When we speak, how­ever, he is focused on hir­ing a stylist for the Septem­ber 22 Emmy cer­e­mony. “I will make sure I am my best ver­sion,” he says. The nom­i­na­tion is the first of its kind for an In­dian chore­og­ra­pher and Mukund hopes to take his as­sis­tant of 13 years to the Mi­crosoft The­ater in Los An­ge­les. Much has been writ­ten about their strug­gles—from prac­tis­ing on empty plots in Nala­sopara to be­ing dis­missed by show or­gan­is­ers for hail­ing from the unglam­orous suburb—but Mukund now talks about be­ing ap­proached by Jen­nifer Lopez’s team to per­form with her on stage. Lopez, a judge on World of Dance, cheered for The Kings with such vigour that her braided bun came un­done. “But we were al­ready booked for a shoot for a Hol­ly­wood movie in the Philip­pines on the same dates. We couldn’t do it,” Mukund says. Hol­ly­wood directors, he says, have ex­pressed in­ter­est in mak­ing a biopic on the mem­bers of Kings United. When he formed The Kings in 2015, friends felt the name made him sound over­con­fi­dent. “But I wanted to be No 1,” he says. Val­i­da­tion came on the World of Dance stage, when, hav­ing wit­nessed their Spar­tan/ Baahubali in­spired rou­tine, judge Derek Hough shouted, “You are the Kings!” ■

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