Lauren Gottlieb was leading a regular life in Los Angeles — that of a dance performer. Then, one evening changed it all. When she returned home after work, she saw an email from UTV, the production house.
“The email mentioned that Remo D’Souza, who is a well-known choreographer in Bollywood, was a huge fan of mine and wanted to cast me in his next film, ABCD(Any Body Can Dance),” says Gottlieb. And even before she knew, the contestant on Season Three of the US reality dance show, So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD), was packing her bags to India, to play one of the leads in the film.
Gottlieb, after her stint with SYTYCD, has also performed with artists such as, Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, Shakira and Carrey Underwood. While being part of films was a dream Gottlieb nurtured, coming to India or joining Bollywood was never on the agenda. Today, she feels she couldn’t have asked for a better film debut.
“I am a part of India’s first 3D dance film directed by Remo D’Souza and it stars one of the best dancers in the world, Prabhu Deva,” says Gottlieb.
Signing up for this film also meant that Gottlieb had to move to a new country on the other side of the world. She had to learn a new language and get accustomed to a new culture. She came to India, armed with ambition and passion. “I did not have much time to settle in. I had to immediately start with my Hindi tuitions,” she says. In the film, Gottlieb plays Rhea, a contemporary ballet dancer, who works at Kay Kay Menon’s dance school. A fight between Menon and Prabhu Deva forces Gottlieb to quit the school and leave with Prabhu Deva.
Gottlieb is a trained jazz and ballet dancer, but her only tryst with Bollywood dancing was during SYTYCD. “In the film, I mostly do dance forms I am familiar with, but there are a couple of Bollywood dances for which I also learnt Kathak,” says Gottlieb.
The fate of Gottlieb’s career in Bollywood now depends on the film. She is waiting for the verdict before she takes her next step forward. “Moving my base here involves a lot of nitty-gritty. As usual, I will go with the flow,” she says.