Vaibhavi Service provider has been a choreographer for over twenty years now. However when she will get the chance to work with Karan Johar, she will get to co-create the whole movie, as a result of songs are as integral to the narrative of Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani as chiffon to a Yash Chopra tune or drama to a Sanjay Leela Bhansali dance quantity.
(Additionally Learn: Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani: Jaya Bachchan because the indignant outdated matriarch is a masterstroke in casting)
In an unique interview, Vaibhavi discusses the method of working with Karan, Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt, paying odes to Yash Chopra and Sanjay Leela Bhansali, and recreating Dola Re Dola with two male actors. Edited excerpts:
Karan Johar has paid tributes to 2 filmmakers — Yash Chopra and Sanjay Leela Bhansali — whom you’ve got labored with a number of occasions. How nostalgic was the expertise of choreographing the songs in Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani?
I feel he is paid homages to a variety of filmmakers, from Manmohan Desai to Raj Kapoor. Even Guru Dutt, each time some melancholic music is available in. And naturally, Yash Chopra. These are among the stalwarts of Hindi cinema. Then after all, there’s Sanjay, for his exuberance and drama. It is a love letter to Hindi cinema. We’re from a era the place we have seen the golden period of Hindi cinema, like Raj Kapoor or Guru Dutt. I am undecided if children of in the present day’s generations are conscious of Kaagaz Ke Phool or Shree 420. We’re that era who’ve seen the perfect of each the worlds.
Karan has all the time been a pupil of cinema, like me. It is essential to watch and be taught from different filmmakers’ craft, and even from their errors. In case you seen, there is no overseas location in Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani, which may be very in contrast to Karan Johar (laughs). He stated, “Let’s pay a tribute to Yash uncle.” Which director would need to pay a tribute to a different director’s work? Each director is right here to show their very own mettle. However here is this ball of pleasure known as Karan Johar who’s attempting to increase his love for these motion pictures to his technicians, crew members, actors, and finally, the viewers.
If you’ve labored with Yash Chopra and Sanjay Leela Bhansali, how do you strike the stability between paying odes and retaining the originality of Karan Johar?
We had been very clear that the songs additionally must make Rocky appear like Rocky and Rani appear like Rani. Fortunate for us that Rani is carrying solely saris. It might be robust if Rani was carrying LVs or Guccis and would out of the blue slip into saris. It is simply an extension of the fabric. She simply went into chiffon, which is fluttery and flowy.
Alia is already in Kashmir for work when she’s pondering of Rocky, as an alternative of them out of the blue breaking out right into a tune within the snow? Did you wrestle with designing the Bollywood dream sequence in 2023?
Karan has additionally given a slight tribute to Aditya Chopra from Ho Gaya Hai Tujhko Toh Pyar Sajna (from Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge), the place Kajol and Shah Rukh realise they’ve parted methods however fallen in love. That is suspension of disbelief. Karan did not have a doubt whether or not it’d work or not. He was pushed completely by conviction.
The one problem was to make Ranveer do that. He is not accomplished this lip-sync tune, apart from one with Priyanka Chopra in Gunday. In any other case he is by no means accomplished a love tune the place he is trying all dreamy, and looking out on the heroine with dove eyes. I wished to do an train of rehearsals with him.
Alia had herself gone and visited Shah Rukh for a day to be taught this, as a result of she’d by no means accomplished a tune like this both, besides slightly little bit of Ishq Wala Love in her first movie. However then learn how to deal with the pallu, deal with the sari, see the hero gush at you, keep your hair, combating all of the wind in a chiffon sari in sub-zero temperatures. We additionally use the fan to counter the wind and make sure the sari flows in an exquisite means. You are even listening to the tune at a quicker pace, so to take care of the sanity of your expression, to emote and lip-sync in excessive pace… for me, that was a problem. As a result of these aren’t veterans of this sort of songs. You’ve got seen Shah Rukh and Kajol do it 100 occasions as a result of it was a norm in these days.
And you then additionally had individuals evaluating Ranveer and Alia to Shah Rukh and Kajol…
We anticipated the comparability, however we did not get slowed down by that. Pointing fingers to that wasn’t a eureka second for us. When the tune launched, individuals had been watching it as a standalone sequence. However now that the movie is out, they’re all reward. We knew that we would accomplished the perfect of what we may do beneath the circumstances we had been in. There was an actress who was nursing her child between the takes. We all know the tales behind each shot that is been put on the market.
Comparisons have occurred to all of us. After I did Aaja Nachle, individuals name it iconic in the present day, however the media put my work down then. As a result of they had been used to seeing the Saroj ji-Madhuri mixture. Vaibhavi was a no one compared then. I’ve needed to cope with one other era once I began off. In the present day, I would hate if somebody does the identical to a brand new choreographer. If individuals say solely Vaibhavi can do Indian classical or people after Saroj Khan, I would dispute that. I am not the one one. There are numerous extra, bas mauke milne chahiye (they simply want the probabilities). I’ll do it higher, however there are numerous who’re doing it.
Did filming Tum Kya Mile in Kashmir take you again to the units of Yash Chopra?
After I met Yash ji for the primary time for Veer-Zaara, I could not consider that I’m assembly the person who has shot songs of legendary movies like Chandni, Lamhe, Kabhi Kabhie or Silsila. We had been in class or faculty once we watched these. It was surreal to go to Switzerland with him and do a tune with Preity Zinta and Shah Rukh Khan the place he is carrying a jacket and she or he’s carrying a chiffon sari and getting moist within the chilly of Switzerland. It was the grasp at play. I am but to see anybody shoot the vistas of Switzerland like him. Little did I do know that will be my crash course of capturing romantic songs.
After we landed in Kashmir (for Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani), Karan began singing Ye Kashmir (from Bemisaal). He is so hilarious. It is essential to work with a director like him who retains the ambiance so gentle on set. As a result of I am very strict once I’m working. This (preserving issues gentle) was a method of engaged on the units of Yash ji. We had been all working laborious, however we felt liked. You felt part of this Sooraj Barjatya emotion. We had been all part of one huge imaginative and prescient.
And equally, did the filming of Dhindhora Baaje Re take you again to the units of Sanjay Leela Bhansali?
Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam is a movie very near my coronary heart, from Aankhon Ki Gustakhiyan to Dhol Baaje (for which she received a Nationwide Award) to even doing a tune with Helen aunty and Salman Khan, which after all was edited out. Sanjay and I had been collaborators in that sense. I’ve liked his work in Khamoshi: The Musical and even within the songs he co-directed with Farah Khan in 1942: A Love Story. I liked the way in which he is introduced the songs. He is one of many uncommon administrators who is aware of learn how to shoot songs. You are feeling impressed to be with him on set.
Dola Re Dola was one of many few songs you did not choreograph in Devdas. How was the expertise of recreating it in Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani, however with two males?
Dola Re Dola was a troublesome one for me. After all, I used to be part of Devdas, however I did three different songs – Silsila Ye Chahat Ka, Humesha Tumko Chaha and Bairi Piya. After I noticed Saroj Khan’s Dola Re Dola on the large 70 mm display in Metro throughout the premiere, I used to be blown away. Now to step into these footwear is already like strolling in the direction of your grave. As a result of persons are very fast to guage you nowadays. I used to be half anticipating for individuals to solely rip me aside for doing this to Dola Re Dola.
I did not got down to compete or make it any higher as a result of the script demanded that they are doing Kathak, however on Dola Re Dola. I despatched an ex-assistant of mine, Nikita, who’s a Kathak dancer, to coach Tota Roy Chowdhury and Ranveer. I would despatched her earlier to Dharma to coach Janhvi Kapoor for Takht and Alia for Ghar Extra Pardesiya (Kalank).
The opposite problem was learn how to sustain with the unique. It had dancing stalwarts like Madhuri Dixit and Aishwarya Rai. And right here, I’ve an actor-dancer who’s by no means accomplished Kathak and one fantastic actor from the Bengali movie trade who has by no means danced to avoid wasting his life. However I didn’t get slowed down by it. As a result of I wished to pay an ode to Saroj ji. I’ve learnt a lot from her, proper from watching her Ek Do Teen (Tezaab, 1988).
You choreographed Tarkeebein, the intro tune of Ranveer in his debut movie, Band Baaja Baaraat, and in addition labored with him in Women Vs Ricky Bahl and Befikre. When he was a wreck earlier than doing Dola Re Dola, how did you consolation him?
Oh, he had a meltdown (laughs). He would solely name Karan saying he cannot do that. As a result of he is aware of I’m a taskmaster. Realizing him, he should’ve watched Birju Maharaj’s movies. However I advised Karan that I will not be capable of ease this as a result of then I would be doing a disservice to those that’ve devoted their total lives to this dance type. I am a Kathak exponent myself. In actual fact, I am a khandani, I hail from the Jaipur gharana. My late grandfather Late Sunder Prasad ji is the founding father of the Jaipur gharana.
I advised Karan that Ranveer must keep true to the craft, however I would ensure he does not look silly, I would shield him. It isn’t that ragging scene from Munna Bhai MBBS that it has to look humorous. Folks had to have a look at it and say WOW. It needed to do the alternative of laughter. If Ranveer would’ve appeared caricaturish, we would have failed. So I handheld him and we took it one hour at a time. I choreograph preserving the actor in thoughts. It needed to go well with the actor’s physique language. You may’t provide you with the choreography for Hrithik Roshan for another actor. Movie choreographing is not like making an Instagram Reel.
You additionally choreographed the end-credit tune Kudmayi. It performs out like a shocking marriage ceremony video. How did you envision that?
I wished it to be very actual. I did not need it to be gimmicky. I did not need it to be a enjoyable tune like Mehendi Laga Ke Rakhna (DDLJ). The temper by then within the movie may be very sombre. They’ve entertained you a lot by then, that you simply actually need them to ease it out. They have by way of a lot within the story, so I wished it to be very emotional. I did not need a variety of data. We used the infant lens and subtle gentle. I wished a variety of blobs prefer it’s a fairy story storybook.
I simply wished the bride to be alone within the courtyard, together with her sahelis (feminine pals). I wished Tijori (Aamir Bashir) handy his son to the bride, let him full his arc. So Kudmayi is a variety of these lovely moments condensed right into a beautiful-looking imagery.
I am so upset that Kudmayi is not on the total display. We shot the whole tune in two-and-a-half nights. You normally shoot a minute in a lot time. We shot 4 minutes. There was a storm which misplaced us time. We had the baaraat dancing in a storm in Jaisalmer. After which to see all of this go right into a field is horrible (laughs). However I am glad that the total model will come out on YouTube and on OTT. It should be the marriage tune and the bridal entry tune of the season.