British artiste with designs on Bollywood praises Dubai
Grace Rhodes who is currently in the city made an appearance in last year's hit 'Street Dancer 3D'.
British artiste and Bollywood hopeful Grace Rhodes who is currently in Dubai for some work projects, hopes her stint as a dancer in Varun Dhawan-Shraddha Kapoor starrer Street Dancer 3D leads to varied and more meaningful roles in the Hindi film industry.
The perky performer who is trained in all aspects of musical theatre met with us on Zoom to tell us how she landed a role in the Bollywood dance film that released last year.
“I come from very much a singing, dancing and acting background. I trained in London and was working there as a professional performer,” she reveals, adding, “At the young age of 18 I was signed with a label and I was working internationally with music.”
Grace who was named BBC Introducing’s Artist of the Week in her home region of Hereford and Worcestershire, released her debut single Me Too in September 2019 on the KondZilla platform. She also had a track out in March last year called Dangerous and is releasing new music this year. “I wasn’t just a singer, I was doing the whole performance - the acting, the music videos,” she shares.
Grace, who has also been part of the opening dance act for Ed Sheeran, grew up with Indian friends and was exposed to Bollywood at a young age. “I’m British but I feel connected to not just the art form, but the culture. I used to spend time with family friends sharing food and culture so I really connect with everything about India.”
It was this all-round performing talent coupled with a love for Bollywood that helped Grace get her Street Dancer 3D gig which she says had a “quick turnaround”. “I was put forward by my then agent when the Street Dancer 3D team came to London and had an audition process. It was very simple - I auditioned and then straight away we were on set. We shot in London (central and Clapham as well in a big theatre). We did a whole night shoot for a fight scene; it was a very good set. I was really happy.”
She says she “learned so much” from the experience. “It was very intense because these guys were working so hard. People were doing their own stunts, the dancing itself was intense, and the acting… I was with the likes of Nora Fatehi and Varun Dhawan. It was just amazing.”
Grace hopes to work more in Bollywood and not in just “love interest” or “foreigner girl” type of roles. “I really hope to mix it up completely and do many things in Bollywood (including "item girl" roles and action), and bring about a fusion of cultures. As a British girl I want to enlighten the UK to what is out there in Bollywood. Obviously I know there’s a big audience in the UK of Indian people watching but I really wish (more) British people would see how amazing it is. There’s a lot of love for theatre in the UK and Bollywood is so theatrical.”
This wish to blend cultures through work is also what brings Grace to Dubai. “I’m here for management reasons, collaborations and editorial shoots… and (music-wise) what I hope to do now is create some tracks which have a fusion of culture. We’re going to work on a few things with various producers.”
What has she been up to in Dubai in her spare time?
“I really mix it up - there’s so much to do here. The shopping is amazing. And I did quad biking in the desert, that was really fun! Food wise, the small places on street corners have the best fare. Clap in DIFC has really good food - I would recommend that.”
We conclude by asking if she was hesitant to travel during the pandemic. Grace says she feels “a lot safer here”. “I feel everybody is respecting the rules. They are respectful of people around them so the situation isn’t as bad. I just stay with my work people. I don’t really go out too much. I just have my bubble and that’s always been the case. And I think if you are around the right people it’s fine. You have your bubble and you all look after each other.”