Ballroom Dancing in Beijing

So you thought China was alll about economic growth ? Early every morning at the beautiful gardens at the Temple of Heaven, these people come to learn and practice ballroom dancing. The wonderful thing is there are actually no class distinctions. One a retired fashion designer, one an ex- factory worker, one an internet entreprenuer, a bus driver too. One thing brings them together. The love of ballroom dancing.

60 thoughts on “Ballroom Dancing in Beijing

  1. Dance reminds us that the body is not merely a vehicle for carrying the brain….but a wonderful instrument in the awechestra of life….
    My cat Yami and I do a purrrrfect waltz…the only consideration for our interspecies glide across the floor is that I lead because his little legs don’t reach the ground…

  2. Have lived with tibetan families(nepal), and here I could see they never looked down on those who earned less, they all sat together, respected each other, such behaviour cannot be in Indians, somehow financial , status aspects do build a wall,even in Uk somewhere I felt the elite did have a snooty attitude!
    Aap kaise hai shekhar? Take care n smile, errm na! na! jyada nahi bolungi, lol public pitayi ho jayegi!

  3. Hi Shekhar, Hope you are well. I am posting Irrelevant to this topic. I hope you don’t mind. Its been a while that I responded or visited your site I remember the last time I wrote on this blog was an argument about copyright and filmmaking and I had mentioned that I would love to go back to India and make a film.
    Guess what, I have been in Bombay for the last 4 months and I have been meeting many production houses with my many scripts, As I was doing the rounds and waiting to get a response from the big production houses, Frustration, Rejection, Insecurity started to creep in (which it always does and I am still waiting).
    Then one day as I lay on the couch with my family it is pouring rain outside I am watching the news I saw a sebment about a man who threw his daughter in the lake because she was sick and he didn’t have any money. Another segment the very same day on the news was about abandoned Infants left out in the rain, buried, or thrown in the lake 4 Infants and a 8 year old girl dumped in the lake and they all happened to be girls. It was very overwhelming for me I cried as I lay there thinking which father would do such an act, which father does not love his child? What is it? That drives people to do such acts. My answer, Poverty. So I want to do something. But What? The only thing I know is make films. So I sort out to make one, with divine Intervention and a lot of help from friends & family I made a Film in about months time. it was as if Bombay opened its arms for me and I think it would not have been possible in any other city.
    Now when I go back to New York I wont say I wish I can do something for I have done something and hopefully my little film will be able to raise awareness about poverty and in a small way if not a big one.

  4. Dear Shekhar,
    Please allow me to veer away to something that has been bugging me over the weekend. Whatever has become of Ram Gopal Varma. I mean this guy was our saviour and hope for Bollywood. Is there no hope left, not even a glimpse of flickering light at the end of the tunnel? Is our fate doomed to permanently watching pretty faces in a row singing songs in Manhattan. God, do not do this to us Bollywood – why are the few genuine hopes left blowing up in smoke.
    Kuala Lumpur

  5. Dear Gopinath,
    Hi. Your hopes were misplaced in the first place. RGV has completely lost it. As a person first, and then as a film-maker.
    You say “Is our fate doomed to permanently watching pretty faces in a row singing songs in Manhattan.” How is this statement connected with RGV? As far as I know, off late RGV’s taste in actors has been quite poor. Would u call Nisha Kothari, Antara Mali, Prashant Raj etc. pretty faces? LOL.
    My reading on RGV is that he’s been totally corrupted by money. It would need a complete transformation of RGV’s present state of mind for any of his future movies to work. I hope he gets his senses back.

  6. That is so interesting. And also, in a very indirect way an explanation as to why China is forging ahead in sectors where India is its direct competition. The fact that people from backgrounds as different as you mention in the post, can get together, and without squirms can take part in any activity, is testimony to the fact that the Chinese, cognoscenti to the hoi polloi, have taken it upon themselves to show what they are truly made of.
    It may be far too trivial an exercise to demand likening to issues of global competition, but in minutiae such as these, we truly understand the pulse of a people.
    Is it possible to even think of an ex CEO of a company to dance with an ex blue collar worker of say, HMT, here in India?
    The Chinese are a most enterprising people.

  7. hi dude…
    i saw your interview on NDTV GOOD Life…a new channel…you were looking marvelous…handsome and truly young…
    those honest moments when i cry…i know i am creative…you said something similar to that…
    i was in a very calm mood…in such mood i am very much receptive, open and innocent…i am no body in such phases…
    and suddenly the last line you spoke and the interview ended…
    She asked you ‘ when you were 13-14 years old, were you asking the same questions? who am i? what is the purpose and all? ‘
    you said ‘ yes…’
    she asked ‘ then what happened in between…’
    you shook you head a bit and said ‘ beech me kahi bhatak gaya tha…’
    and suddenly there was a quick dissolve to a leaf or something and interview ended…
    suddenly i felt a jolt in my stomach…i felt like crying…my eyes filled with tears…thats the phase when i am creative…i was in a phase where i was almost empty…i was experiencing bliss… your one line pushed me into creative phase and i was over joyed …i could feel the energy with in me…the magic is, since i was very much aware i could see the difference between bliss and creative joy… Creative joy is a bliss with a different perception…some how i had devised a method to go into that creative joy phase…but today i could decipher between plain simple state of being nothing and creative joy which is also being nothing…
    i called my friend…we generally meet at night for a smoke and chai… he is a composer…
    we met at our regular joint and none of us spoke more than 2 lines for fifteen minutes…
    then i told him a story i am developing with and for my friend director… my composer friend told me 2 things and the whole story almost changed…we were laughing for next fifteen minutes…
    then again silence for another fifteen minutes and another round of smoke…
    then he told me a story he had been playing with for past two years… he keeps telling me many half cooked stories and keep telling him the flaws and incompleteness in them giving analogies of mozart, beethoven, bach compositions which he has given me to listen to…so that he can understand …
    so i felt this is going to be another such half cooked story…then eventually our discussion would turn to music and then life in general…
    but he kept telling me and i kept listening…and he was narrating the story for almost an hour and at the end we both were in tears…
    i will try my best to make that story into a film…!!! may be my first film…! but we know how life takes turns…!…lets see…!… but today…its night over here right now…its 3.30 am…this night was one of those rare nights when the whole universe conspires to make you feel better…!!!
    the trigger was ‘ kahi bhatak gaya tha beech me…!’
    thank you for being so young and vulnerable…
    love you…
    take care…tata…

  8. Dear Shekhar,
    One more day before ‘Golden Age’ becomes part of the world. I’m sure you are excited and proud to share it with the world. Hope you have a wonderful and truly memorable Gala Premier at Toronto tomorrow.
    Best Wishes,
    Himanshu – NY

  9. Oh yes, all the best for the premiere! I am sure it’ll be fantastic. Looking forward to it releasing in India.
    Loved Elizabeth. The second time around, she is only going to better.
    The very best wishes, Shekhar.
    Make us proud.

  10. Ichak daana bichak daana, daane upar daana….
    Kaha ho aap??
    haa jaanthi hu another victory….
    Ab jaldi update karo!!

  11. Dear Shekhar,
    I was wondering that why this time there seems to be less noise in the media -especially Indian media- for ” Golden Age”.
    I sometimes feel that Indian media doesnt have enough intellectual inertia when it comes to your work.
    Any thoughts?

  12. Shekhar, aaj meri bhi ek victory hui hai…a victory for which my entire life ko gamble kar gayi…
    Shayad aapki victory mereh se bahut bari hai…par victory…victory hai…chaheh koi usseh approve kareh ya na kareh…deep down you know you won!!
    If the world does not understand you…does not mean you dont!!
    Love n hugzzz

  13. The dancers in the pic are screaming loudly…’ why u clicked us in such an odd position…we are stuck here for ever…!…’

  14. Kounse journey meh kho gaye?
    Its endless….
    Come back…share your thoughts with ur morning cup of tea…

  15. Baas bhi karo shekhar, aapki khamoshi keh rahi hai, something happened in that toronto show, i am not aware kya hai ye sab, kya ho raha hai…but a feeling….
    Medals ke liye hi zindagi nahi….handful of people can never determine nor estimate the power in you can they?
    Kuch pal jee lo ab…bahut daur liya…
    Aapna khayal rakhna
    Suniye…please feel free not to post this comment of mine, I would appreciate it, zamane ke liye nahi keh rahi ye sab….aapko kuch keh rahi hu…

  16. Just happened to go to the appliance store “Currys”,which is a major chain store for appliances in UK. As I get in what I saw, 40 big screen plazma Tvs on display… and guess what were they displaying …! Trailer of “Goldenage”.
    This was an exlusive dvd designed to play only in curry’s. Shekhar, Is it the part of the media compaign or just a tie up with currys…or something else.
    Anyways trailer looked awesom there and I watched it on around 40 big screen plasma Tvs togather.

  17. Yes, thats truly insightful. I wonder if that will work in other countries. Probably not. Its amazing how a common cause can bring people together and shatter barriers or classes. Interesting sociological example indeed.

  18. dude…
    amm…i want to know something…help!!!
    say SUPPOSE i will make a film which people from any cast, culture or country can watch and enjoy…that means i will have an INTERNATIONAL film in my pocket…( ‘SUPPOSE’ is a very important word in this query)
    How to sell it in the world market?
    are festivals like Canne or sun dance the market?
    how the deals happen at that level if the film is already made…i mean if its an independent film like Salam Bombay?…how does market work at that level?
    if big festivals is a market then are there any other sources of selling a film?

  19. Who can touch the sky…who can reach the horizon…who can go to the depths of the sea and who can survive in the core of the earth…who can hold the fragrance…who can grab the wind……who is so simple to win over the mind…!
    happy journey…!

  20. Hello Shekhar!
    Its great to know about your interests and day-to-day happenings apart from some of the most wonderful films made by you. I just wanted to add something here as your interest and mine seem common-FILMS!
    Though this subject may seem irrelevent-as Ballroom Dancing and Classic Films have no connection but they share a common bond-thats ‘Art’.
    I am a member of Enlighten Film Society-An NGO Dedicated to spread World Cinema in India. World’s Greatest Films are screened at multiplexes in Mumbai every sundays. The motive here is not to burn holes in the pockets of film-lovers(commersialise) but to spread World Cinema and start a new revolution in our country who unfortunately is unaware of this beauty. Could you help us in this cause? I think each person can make a difference to the society in a small way and together we can bring a revolution!
    to know more about Enlighten Film Society
    log on to
    Thanks a Lot!

  21. Dear Mr. kapoor
    Further to our telephone conversation. This is a story of a woman who is not only physically challenged who is also facing other challenges and still standing tall. FACING ALL ODDS AND STANDING TALL.
    Social and culture defects. Family problems. Lack of encouragement.
    Religious. Born in a place where 80% people believe in karma. Where they believe I must have done something wrong in my previous life that is why God wants me to suffer. The evil of karma.
    This is a story of a woman who is self-motivated, believer of inner strength
    I have observed how people take life for granted. People dont appreciate what they have, the freedom of choice.
    have met people, especially college they make excuses for taking drugs. It Is easy to make excuses for your own down fall and to be a victim but it takes courage to make the best out of you.
    I have been offered roles in Indian cinema. But I didnt like any of those roles. Coz they wanted me to act as a clown. I dont want people to make fun of LP ( little people). It is humiliation. My reason for sharing my story is different. I have positive attitude towards life. I have a story that creates awareness, Motivation and inspiration. Not only for LP but it inspire many others those who are struggling and for those who are victim of circumstances.
    It also makes other people realize to appreciate what they have. They have no idea how some people are struggling in other parts of world. People have freedom and they make wrong choices. But they have no idea some people have no right to chose.
    I appreciate that you took time to read my e-mail. If you have any other questions please ask me.
    long distance hug
    Mansi Arora

  22. Mr Kapur
    you have been one of the people who have had a vision of the future would really like to mail you a presentation on the same would really appreciate that if you could send me a blank email on

  23. Shekhar,
    It is an honour to have a fello country man making movies as great as Elizabeth and now the Golden Age. When I was Elizabeth, I was stunned with Cate’s preformance; so much so that to this day I consider her the best actress ever solely because of that role. I can barely wait till The golden Age releases tomorrow. I know it will do just as well, if not better. I’m so very excited that there will also be a 3rd part coming sometime. All the best!
    Just a Fan

  24. More than anything…I think its the passion…passion and desire to start their day with something that gives them happiness.
    And as I am writing this, I am thinking- when was the last time that I got up and started my day with something that gives me happiness?
    Everyday there is a senseless rush of getting up, getting dressed, picking up the laptop and toggling between conference calls…chasing people to do their job(typical project management!)
    I cant remember the last time I painted in peace, or wrote something or talked to my mom without being preoccupied with the thoughts of “what is the next on the to-do list”.
    I admire those people who can take out the time to do things that give them happiness…One day …hopefully…i will be able to do that too!
    the HOPE shall never die

  25. All the best wishes dude fot TGA…!
    is it not releasing in India? Why not?
    How does it feel a day before the release?

  26. Shekhar:
    My recent visit to China was a wonderful experience! I felt that there is greater accordance and harmony there than class consciousness.China does not appear like a third world country. People are very active and disciplined. There are 5 million bicycle riders in Beijing but their traffic control and traffic sense are exemplary. India and the west could learn a lot from China.
    With regards,
    Kirti Pandya

  27. During my visit to China I did not see one obese man or woman. Coming back to U.S., the obesity of americans was eye catching and disturbing.

  28. “All structures fall apart in the throes of the first passions of love. All duality dissappeared. Everything encompassed by that one emotion. Being in the throes of love, even life and death encompassed by that one emotion.”
    I was reading through your blogs and found this statement. Not too long ago a Doctor i researched with shared with me his philosophy of love. He described it as being one with the person, where are the boundaries are shot down. for example: a baby only knows the existence of his mother, he is one with the mother. but this is all before he grows up and develops an ego of his own. I dont think love is eternal, what is eternal is the friendship, which is the basis of love. That love feeling is just initial before your significant other comes across with theirs and your ego. After that what makes the relationship go on is friendship.

  29. Kedar,
    showbizz is such a thing…It gives u strange kind of buzzes,setbacks,happiness,importance and lotz of emotional traumas and orgasms…I think shekhar is going through and enjoying one of these terms…ONCE HE GET BACK HERE ON THE BLOG,he will be EVEN MORE LEARNERD MAN. I bet u he’s going to be having more stories to tell and more things to share with all of us.
    whatever you do ..where ever u be …we ‘will be right here waiting for you.
    Bloggers at

  30. yeah Sanjay… he must be busy.!
    the message that comes after posting a comment tells me that some one is monitoring the blog even now…that means its not dead…hahahha…
    crude logic is the best logic…!
    i saw ‘The lives of others’ the other day… great film… one the few rare films which made me jealous as a writer…fuck…!
    there are two broad genres FICTION-FICTION and FICTION-REALISTIC for me!… e.g. Erin Brocovich was FICTION-REALISTIC where as SLEEPY HOLLOW was FICTION-FICTION…
    and i have observed that there is greater chance to explore more about inter personal relationships in FICTION-REALISTIC genre rather than FICTION-FICTION genre…it needs thorough understanding and research about the story you are presenting and then there are different ways to tell your story in a fictional way…!
    i have observed most of the Oscar material is FICTION-REALISTIC…!

  31. …Even more a learned man…lots of stories to tell!!
    Sanjay, I totally agree with you. But while we all wait for SK to get back here, wouldn’t it be nice if we go watch The Golden Age, or ask our friends to watch it, or just collect constructive feedbacks from ppl who have seen it & post it here ?
    I am sure some of you are in US & UK where the early releases are happening . For a change , maybe we can give SK a few stories to brew about, in exchange of all the stories/thoughts he has shared with us ….just a passing thought from a passer-by 🙂

  32. a passerby promoting golden age so furiously….something tells me that must be sekhar kapur :)….sekharji i know u r a net addict and u must be visiting this blog each day even if u r busy with promotions…..maybe u r trying to gather ur thgts in solitude…best of luck for golden age and we all miss u.bbye

  33. Hello shekhar ji,
    I have’nt managed to come here as often as i used to … but i heard that the premiere for Golden Age was grand ( as it had to be – your films are amazing – 🙂 i was hooked on to Elizabeth for a month and even now i watch it whenever i get the chance to) All the best .. waiting to watch it.. and as far as ballroom dancing goes… thats life… i wish i could too learn it someday…
    Take care

  34. hi shekhar,
    is it necessary that a script should be connected to a real incident only?
    my scripts comes out directly from my mind…
    i feel like shouting and want my heads to be thrown on the wall…wants my hair to be torned…while writing a script…
    just want to ask…. what you look or find in a script at a first glance?
    ajay lohan

  35. hello,
    even by seeing this ballroom dancing pic….a story comes into mind …about a couple…who doesn’t want to be together …but they need they participated in amatuer ballroom dancing competition… while dancing due to a lucky coin they comes close…and reunited together..
    i will make a short film on it…
    plz comment….
    thnx & regards
    ajay lohan

  36. where are u dude? whats up?
    too much traveling? too many interviews?
    nothing interesting happing which you feel like sharing?

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