Making Prabhas And Diljit Dance


‘Diljit
and
Prabhas
are
so
similar

very
humble,
down-to-earth,
extremely
shy
introverts
and
at
the
same
time,
extremely
talented
guys.’

IMAGE:
Pony
Verma
along
with
Diljit
Dosanjh
and
Prabhas
on
the
sets
of

Kalki
2898
AD

while
shooting
the
song

Bhairava
.

Photograph:
Kind
courtesy
Pony
Verma/Instagram

Watching
Prabhas
and
Diljit
Dosanjh
belt
out
the

Bhairava
Anthem

is
one
of
the
highlights
of

Kalki
2898
AD
.

And
making
the
two
superstars
dance
to
her
tune
was
Choreographer

Pony
Verma
.

“Some
songs
are
very
powerful,
and
this
is
one
of
them,”
Pony
tells



Rediff.com

Contributor

Mohnish
Singh
.


Tell
us
about
your
experience
of
working
on
the
popular

Bhairava
Anthem
.

This
song
is
the
best
thing
to
happen
to
me
in
2024.

Six
months
have
passed
since
I
worked
on
it.

I
remember
when
Producer
Priyanka
Dutt
messaged
me
and
said,
‘There
is
a
song
with
Diljit
and
Prabhas.’

I
could
not
believe
it.

I
said,
‘Who
Diljit?
Diljit
Dosanjh?’

She
said,
yes.

I
asked
her
to
send
me
the
song
right
away,
and
she
sent
me
the
rough
version.

When
I
heard
it,
I
said,
‘This
is
a
massive
song,
not
a
small
one.’

She
told
me
that
it’s
the
introduction
of
Prabhas’
character,
Bhairava.
She
said
Diljit
had
agreed
to
sing
the
song
and
be
a
part
of
it.

Some
songs
are
very
powerful,
and
this
is
one
of
them.

When
Diljit
did
the
final,
oh
my
God,
it
reached
another
level.

IMAGE:
Pony
Verma
with
Prabhas
on
the
sets
of

Kalki
2898
AD

while
shooting
the
song

Bhairava
.

Photograph:
Kind
courtesy
Pony
Verma/Instagram


Did
you
know
it
would
become
a
chartbuster?

See,
when
I
heard
the
song,
I
knew
it
would
be
a
very
big
hit.

Both
actors
were
so
busy
with
the
other
commitments
(when
we
decided
to
shoot
the
song
).
Diljit
had
to
go
for
the
Jimmy
Fallon
show.
Prabhas
was
busy
with
other

Kalki

work.

We
had
limited
time
to
shoot
the
song.


What
was
the
shoot
like?

The
energy
on
the
set
was
another
level.

It
was
like
an
adrenaline
rush.

Everybody,
right
from
the
art
director
to
the
director
of
photography,
my
producer
and
my
team,
we
all
were
on
a
high.

The
way
visuals
came
out,
everybody
said
this
song
would
do
something.

IMAGE:
Diljit
Dosanjh
and
Prabhas
on
the
sets
of

Kalki
2898
AD
.


Prabhas
and
Diljit
are
shy
in
real
life.
How
challenging
was
it
to
choreograph
such
a
song
for
them?

Absolutely.
When
I
met
them,
I
realised
they
are
identical.

The
only
difference
is
that
one
is
a
North
Indian
and
the
other
is
a
South
Indian.

Their
language,
food
and
everything
else
could
be
different
but
nature
wise,
they
are
so
similar

very
humble,
down-to-earth,
extremely
shy
introverts
and
at
the
same
time,
extremely
talented
guys.

They
made
it
very
comfortable
for
me
on
set.

They
did
not
have
extra
demands
that,
you
know,
shoot
me
like
this
or
shoot
me
like
that.

I
remember
when
I
said,
‘I
want
to
see
both
of
you
with

turla

(a
piece
of
cloth
worn
on
top
of
turbans
),’
Diljit
was
excited
because
he
is
a
Punjabi.

But
Prabhas
was
like,
‘Are
you
sure
it’s
going
to
look
nice?’

I
asked
him
to
see
the
image
I
had
in
mind,
and
if
he
was
comfortable,
we
would
do
it.

So
I
sent
him
the
image
and
he
said
yes
immediately.


Was
it
intimidating
to
choreograph
two
superstars?

I
knew
Prabhas
from
before.

Also,
it
has
been
almost
24
years
for
me
as
a
choreographer,
so
I
have
worked
with
every
superstar.

What
matters
is
my
work.

I
know
how
much
popularity
they
have
and
on
what
platform
they
stand.
But
when
they
are
coming
on
my
sets,
they
are
my
actors
and
will
portray
my
work.

IMAGE:
Aishwarya
Rai
Bachchan
and
Hrithik
Roshan
in
the

Guzaarish

title
track.


How
were
your
initial
years
as
a
choreographer?

I
started
choreography
in
2001,
for
Priyadarshan’s

Yeh
Teraa
Ghar
Yeh
Meraa
Ghar
.

I
have
also
worked
with
him
on

Hungama

(2003),

Hungama
2

(2021),

Hulchul

(2004),

Garam
Masala

(2005),

Kyon
Ki

(2005),

Chup
Chup
Ke

(2006)
and

Bhool
Bhulaiyaa

(2007).

I
have
done
films
like

Namaste
London

(2005),

The
Dirty
Picture
(2011)
and

Cocktail

(2012).

Then,
there
were

Guzaarish

(2010)
and

Bajirao
Mastani

(2015)
with
Sanjay
Leela
Bhansali.

I
started
very
young.

Choreographers,
who
were
working
at
that
time,
were
a
little
senior.

Today’s
times
are
different.
Today,
you
change
the
(television)
channel
and
see
a
new
choreographer
sitting
on
a
platform.

This
was
not
in
our
case.
Since
we
were
young,
we
had
to
convince
people
that
we
knew
our
job.

I
would
wear
a
loose
salwar
suit
with
a
long

dupatta

so
that
people
like
Saroj
Khan
and
Farah
Khan
took
me
seriously.

Also,
a
lot
of
comparison
would
happen
with
choreographers.

If
you
asked
for
the
same
remuneration
as
the
male
choreographers,
they
would
question
you.

There
were
moments
of
struggle,
yes,
but
a
few
directors
stood
by
me.

IMAGE:
Shah
Rukh
Khan
and
Kareena
Kapoor
in
the
song

Marjaani
Marjaani

from

Billu
Barber
.


Who
has
been
the
best
actor
to
work
with?

The
most
exciting
time
was
when
I
sat
with
Shah
Rukh
Khan
for

Billu
Barber

(2009)
because
I
think
everybody
wants
to
work
with
him.

That
was
one
of
my
most
memorable
shoots
too
because
he
was
the
producer
too.
He
is
one
of
the
best
producers
in
the
industry.

His
team
really
takes
care
of
the
technicians,
the
way
they
are
treated
and
paid.


What
about
your
best
actress?

I
worked
with
Deepika
Padukone
in

Chandni
Chowk
to
China

(2009),
Priyanka
Chopra
in

Billu
Barber

and
Vidya
Balan
in

Dirty
Picture
.

I
wanted
to
make
Sridevi
dance
to
my
choreography,
but
alas,
it
didn’t
happen.

I
could
not
make
that
kind
of
name
to
get
Sridevi
for
a
dance
number.

It’s
an
unfulfilled
dream.


Did
you
ever
meet
her?

Of
course.
She
attended
my
wedding.

I
was
standing
next
to
my
husband
(actor
Prakash
Raj
)
but
was
blushing
looking
at
her.
I
could
not
believe
the
actress
I
was
crazy
about
had
come
for
my
wedding.

I
recently
shot
an
ad
with
Janhvi
Kapoor,
and
told
her
how
much
I
adored
her
mother.

It’s
one
of
the
best
memories
I
have.

IMAGE:
Manisha
Koirala
in

Aaj
Main
Upar

from

Khamoshi:
The
Musical
.


Sanjay
Leela
Bhansali
is
known
to
be
a
taskmaster.
How
was
your
experience
of
working
with
him?

My
first
song
in
front
of
a
camera
as
an
assistant
was

Aaj
Main
Upar

for

Khamoshi:
The
Musical

(1996).

So
Sanjay
has
seen
me
from
that
age,
from
an
assistant
to
a
full-time
choreographer.
That
was
also
his
first
film.

I
know
how
Sanjay
works.

He
is
not
a
taskmaster,
he
challenges
you
to
give
your
best.

What
I
do
with
other
directors
and
what
I
can
do
with
Sanjay
is
so
different
because
he
keeps
challenging
you.

He
awakens
your
lazy
creative
brain.
Very
few
directors
have
that
quality.


Is
there
any
actor
or
actress
you
haven’t
choreographed
yet
but
want
to?

Well,
there
are
a
lot
of
new
Gen
Z
actors.

I
have
an
eight-year-old
son,
so
you
know,
we
mommies
take
a
break
for
a
while,
and
when
our
kids
start
going
to
school,
we
think
of
getting
back
to
work.

I
would
love
to
work
with
Alia
Bhatt.

I
would
love
to
work
with
Ranbir
(Kapoor)
and
Ranveer
(Singh).