The Deewani song from Bajirao Mastani looks perfect thanks to the detailed work by choreographer Remo D’Souza and Sanjay Leela Bhansali
On Bagging SLB’s Film
Sanjay Leela Bhansali wanted me to choreograph one song in the film. Initially, I was in shock because one doesn’t associate me with choreographing Indian classical numbers. But we met and he told me about the Deewani song, and that’s how I bagged the film.
On Choreographing Deewani
Usually, the director briefs you on the storyline and how he wants the song to shape up. But this was very different. Sanjay asked me to choreograph the song first, and I did. He loved what I showed him, and then he briefed me about the storyline. So we made a few changes in the body language in places where it was not gelling with the story. We then finalised the entire song.
On Deepika Padukone
It was a treat to make Deepika dance. The day she first walked onto the sets in that attire, she looked so beautiful! She is a terrific dancer. All you have to do is give her some moves and she takes it from there. But it’s not that easy in an SLB film as he wants every beat to go with the steps. So we spent 10 days shooting the Deewani song as we had to make sure it was perfect. When you watch the song, it will look easy, but the steps were not easy to execute.
It was a learning experience for me to work with Sanjay, who is very hands-on on the sets. He is a perfectionist and checks every frame of his films; every beat has to match; every background should be perfect. He gives his technicians space to create, and then gives their work his own touch. It was amazing working with him and seeing how he looks at everything with such an intense eye for detail. He has such passion and love for cinema.
On The Music
As we all know, if the music catches everybody’s attention, only then does one notice the choreography of a song. And Bajirao Mastani has amazing Indian music that grows on you as you listen to it. It was amazing working with a man who is so cultured. From directing to composing his own songs, he simply lives a film.