Prabhu Deva Sundaram (Tamil: பிரபு தேவா சுந்தரம்) (Kannada ಪ್ರಭು ದೇವ ಸುಂದರಂ) is a choreographer, actor and film director in India. He has been called "India's Michael Jackson" for his fast-paced dance movements.
Prabhu Deva Sundaram was born in Mysore, India on April 3, 1973, and grew up in Alwarpet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. He was inspired by his father, Sundaram who was a dance master for popular south-indian movies. He took dancing as his career and passion, by learning Bharatanatyam and Western dance styles.
His brothers Raju Sundaram and Nagendra Prasad are also South-Indian choreographers. From choreography he went on to establish himself as an actor. His dance steps helped him become a star in Kollywood (the Tamil film industry). His first movie as a dance director was Vetri Vizha. He has since choreographed over 100 movies.
Before starting as a full time actor, he did song sequences in films. His first movie as a hero was in Kadhalan with actress Nagma. Sundaram's success resulted largely from his dancing. He has a significant fan following in the Tamil, Telugu and Kannada film industry. He acted alongside his brothers in the movie 123.
* Sundaram was also noticed when he made brief appearances in solo items such as Rajathi Raja in Agni Natchathiram (1988), April Mayile in Idhayam (1991), Lallaku Doldapi Ma in Suriyan (1992), Chinna Rasave in Walter Vetrivel (1993), and Chikku Bukku Raiyle in Gentleman (1993).
* He danced with Madhuri Dixit for the song Que Sera Sera in the movie Pukar.
* He acted along with Lawrence Raghavendra in the hit movie Style.
* He has danced with Apache Indian in the song No Problem in the film Love Birds.
* He made a special appearance in Pokkiri (which was directed by himself) with Joseph Vijay in the song Aadungada.
* He also danced in the film Abra Ka Dabra for the song Om Sh
In August 2007, a music video for the song "Kalluri Vaanil" from the Indian-Tamil movie Pennin Manathai Thottu was uploaded to YouTube by Mike Sutton (Youtube user Buffalax). The video was created as a mondegreen, edited to include incorrect English subtitles that approximate the original Tamil lyrics phonetically.
The name Benny Lava comes from Sutton's dubbing of the Tamil lead line "Kalluri vaanil kaayndha nilaavo?" as "My loony bun is fine, Benny Lava!". The video led other Youtube users to refer to Prabhu Deva Sundaram as "Benny Lava". Much of the "Benny Lava" video's appeal rests on the sexual innuendo in some of the subtitles. The video was inspired after Sutton watched Moskau by German pop-band Dschinghis Khan. One of Sutton's friends "wished he could understand the song so he could sing along." Sutton thought the real translation would be difficult and instead used English lyrics that replicated the German song.
"Benny Lava" inspired others and resulted in similar videos being created with phonetic translations. The viral video quickly spread and as of January 2009 the original video had 10,202,647 views. Reception to the video was mixed; Some felt that the video was done in "good fun" while others worried that their culture was being mocked.
The video was described by the Philippine Daily Inquirer as a "Catchy melody, a battalion of back-up dancers, colorful costumes, impressive vocal gymnastics, jaw-dropping choreography this music video has it all. And if those arent enough, the person who uploaded this vid also provided subtitles so you can sing along. They arent the real lyrics though, but just what they sound in English, resulting in a lot of nonsense."