Not for nothing, do they refer to dancing star Prabhu Deva as India’s Michael Jackson! The prolific, multi-faceted dancer is also an actor, director and choreographer of repute.
Prabhu Deva is also a man who has successfully straddled both worlds- he is equally renowned in the South Indian film industry, and in Bollywood. He has worked on countless Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada films, while also maintaining a firm balance in Hindi cinema.
Prabhu Deva is also the recipient of the prestigious National Awards for Best Choreography, a rare honour bestowed on a dance director. Despite being so accomplished in every field, he is someone who is incredibly humble and down-to-earth.
Prabhu Deva was born to a dancing family, and perhaps dance was in his genes. His father, Mugur Sundar, was a choreographer too, who gave dance direction for South Indian films. Since a young age, Prabhu was inclined towards dance, learning the styles of Bharatanatyam from Dharmaraj and Udupi Lakshminarayanan, as well as Western styles.
His first break in films came when he appeared as a background dancer for the 1988 Tamil film Agni Natchathiram. The following year, he bagged the choreography for the film Vetri Vizha, which catapulted his unique dance style to superstardom.
Prabhu Deva diversified into acting in the 1990’s, managing to perform both duties as an actor and dancer simultaneously. He acted in a film called Indhu in 1994, which was his first break in front of the camera. Since then, Deva has actred in a multiple of films, including Any Body Can Dance (ABCD), which was his big Bollywood comeback. He has starred in Tamil and Telugu hits like Love Birds, Mr. Romeo, VIP, Love Story 1999, Doubles, Charlie Chaplin, One Two Three and several others.
As a director, Prabhu Deva has directed films in all three languages. His most noteworthy works include Pournami, Pokkiri, Villu, Vedi, and his Hindi roster reads with super hit names like Wanted, Rowdy Rathore, Ramaiya Vastavaiya, R..Rajkumar. Up next on Prabhu Deva’s plate will be the Ajay Devgan-Sonakshi Sinha starrer Action Jackson. The film is perhaps an ode to his connection with the late American singer and master of dance- Michael Jackson.
Prabhu Deva is fiercely private in his personal life. When his marriage with his first wife Latha disintegrated, Prabhu Deva and his then girlfriend Nayanthara maintained a dignified silence.