Who is the best dancer- Prabhudeva or Raghava Lawrence? This seem to be a common question for many dance lovers but how many Malayalis have watched Lawrence's dance videos on repeat mode.
To begin with, Lawrence had brain tumour when he was a child and rarely went to school. Following his situation at home, he became an ardent devotee of the deity Raghavendra Swamy and added the God's name to his name.
Fight master Super Subbarayan was a renowned name in the Telugu industry when Lawrence was working as a car cleaner for him. He was so interested in dance since childhood that he used to watch stars on sets while he accompanied Subbarayan.
That is when superstar Rajinikanth happened to see him dancing and helped him join the Dancers Union. He got the chance to work as a dance master for 1999 movie 'Amarkalam'. The song 'Maha Ganapathi' was much talked about back then.
It was later Chiranjeevi who offered him the job of choreographing the dances for 'Hitler'. Pleased with Lawrence's work, Chiranjeevi asked him to choreograph dances for his next films too.
Lawrence first appeared in a song in 'Samsara Sangeetham', a Tamil film in 1989 directed by T. Rajendran. Then he appeared in 'Donga Police' in 1991, also doing some dances with Prabhu Deva. That is how he began to be compared with the popular dance master Prabhu Deva. He was a background dancer in the hit song 'Chikku Bukku Chikku Bukku Railey'in the 1993 movie 'Gentleman'. He also appeared in dance sequences in 'Muta Mesthri', 'Rakshana' and 'Allari Priyudu'.
Noted for his dancing skills, Lawrence soon began to get movie ventures. It was producer T V D Prasad who first offered him the role of a hero in his movie Speed Dancer (1999). And since then, there was no looking back.
He had chalked out enjoyable dance numbers for leading artists in the industry.
While choreographing his dances, he made sure that his steps never copied anyone. His steps always had a fresh and fully energized feel. No wonder, he is known as the Indian Michael Jackson next to Prabhu Deva.
Raghava Lawrence was recently in news when actress Sri Reddy claimed that choreographer-actor-director had also promised her opportunities in return for sexual favours.