Bollywood dance choreographer Shiamak Davar denies sexual abuse allegations by two former male dancers

At The Times of India Film Awards (TOIFA) announcement in January 2013: (L-R) actress Chitrangada Singh, The Times of India’s A.P. Parigi, producer Karan Johar, Premier Christy Clark and choreographer Shiamak Davar.  Photo by Chandra Bodalia
At The Times of India Film Awards (TOIFA) announcement in January 2013: (L-R) actress Chitrangada Singh, The Times of India’s A.P. Parigi, producer Karan Johar, Premier Christy Clark and choreographer Shiamak Davar.
Photo by Chandra Bodalia

WORLD-FAMOUS Bollywood dance choreographer Shiamak Davar, 53, is facing sexual abuse allegations by former dancers Percy Shroff, 40, and Jimmy Mistry, 33, both of North Vancouver, who claim that they went through years of unwanted sexual touching by Davar and who they allege also misused his authority as their spiritual leader to control their personal relationships and lives.

But Davar denies the allegations contained in B.C. Supreme Court suits filed this week by the two dancers. He has filed a written response to the claims with B.C. Supreme Court.

Davar said in a statement on Thursday: “I am shocked by these allegations and deny them completely. I will not be intimidated into silence and will defend myself vigorously in court. I have total faith in the justice system of British Columbia that my name shall be cleared on all accounts.”

He claims the two former dancers are trying to ruin “his character, reputation and affiliated organizations.”

Mistry and Shroff met Davar through a dance school he operated in Mumbai, India, in the 1990s when they were teens.

They allege in their suits that they were singled out for special treatment by the choreographer and became members of a religious sect led by Davar.

They say that Davar treated a small group of dancers, mostly boys, to special outings after rehearsals, and that they were praised and touched in a “flirtatious way” by him.

Mistry’s suit alleges Davar often invited male students over to his private home to watch movies and “he would lie on the bed in his underwear and take someone’s hand, including the plaintiff’s, and put it on his underwear over his p—s.”

Because he considered Davar to be his spiritual leader, he did not question the defendant’s actions or motives, he alleges.

Shroff says that Davar used to hug and kiss him. Then he phoned him one day to tell him: “I know your secret.” The suit says: “The plaintiff was stunned. He was young and was not yet conscious of being gay.” Davar then started making bolder advances toward him.

Both the former dancers moved to a North Vancouver neighbourhood because it was believed to be safe from the “imminent apocalypse.” They allege Davar is a leader of a sect called VRRP Spiritual Learning group. ​VRRP follows the teachings of Khorsheed Bhavnagari, who wrote The Laws of the Spirit World, in which she claimed her two dead sons communicated with her.

The two dancers are suing for various damages. None of the claims have been proven in court.