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Amrita Prasad
Sunday, 2 July 2017

For me, dance is music made visible. So, when I hear the music, its rhythm and lyrics talk to me and that is what I translate into movement.

The much anticipated Katrina Kaif and Ranbir Kapoor-starrer Jagga Jasoos is already in the news and its songs have been catching the attention of moviegoers. The fun and quirky song Ullu Ka Pattha, sung by Arijit Singh, Nikita Gandhi, and composed by Pritam, has unique dance sequences with the  out-of-the-box choreography. 

In the song of this musical-adventure-romantic-comedy which will be releasing on July 14, Katrina and Ranbir can be seen in casual outfits with backpacks and poker faces, busking on the streets of Morocco.

Choreographed by dance director and contemporary jazz and western dancer Shiamak Davar, the song sees the duo doing upbeat, crazy, quirky, fun dance moves with a touch of locking-popping and robotics.

The song, which has topped the trends’ list, has also won hearts with its behind-the-scenes video where Katrina can be seen slowing down so that Ranbir can catch up with the steps. While the film’s trailer and other songs like Galati Se Mistake and Jhumri Telaiya too have created waves, the unconventional and fresh dance moves of Ullu Ka Pattha, perfectly synced to the beats and lyrics, make you listen and watch the song again and again. 

Known to make the biggest Bollywood stars dance to his tunes, Shiamak tells us how he crafted the special dance steps for Ullu Ka Pattha. Excerpts:
What was the first thought that came to your mind after hearing the song’s title Ullu Ka Pattha?
The music is very fresh, and you know my Hindi isn’t the best so when I was told the literal meaning, I found it too funny! So just like the catchy lyrics and tune, I knew the choreography had to be fun and quirky.
What thoughts went into conceptualising and doing the choreography of the song?
For me, dance is music made visible. So, when I hear the music, its rhythm and lyrics talk to me and that is what I translate into movement. This film being a musical, the choreography had to be set keeping the storyline in mind and the requirement of the scenes. I have really enjoyed working on it. 
Did the location — streets and people of Morocco — influence your choreography?
People were very excited and crowds kept gathering wherever we went. Being a travelling song, we had to get each shot quickly and move on. The inspiration behind choreographing a song is always the music, lyrics and the story, but Morocco was definitely a beautiful location and truly inspiring.
The dances moves are very young, fun and quirky. Tell us about some of the movements, expressions and techniques that you have used in the choreography.
The movement, like you mentioned, are very new and different. I like to choreograph songs my way and with a fantastic director like Anurag Basu, I had the creative liberty to do so. People always see my work and find it different, and often end up describing it as ‘Shiamak Style’. Whether it was jazz in Dil Toh Pagal Hai or elements of hip-hop in Dhoom Again or contemporary in Kisna, with each film I try to bring something fresh. Similarly, you see a completely new type of movement in Jagga Jasoos.
How was your experience of choreographing Ranbir and Katrina for the song? 
I have worked with Ranbir and Katrina in the past for award shows and stage performances. Both of them are fantastic dancers. The style of choreography in this film is very difficult. The steps look easy and everyone can do them, but getting the style and pulling it off is the tough part. Both Ranbir and Katrina weren’t used to the movements. They would find it hard to adapt and really tough. But once they got into it, they picked up the style really well!
Why don’t we see such choreography more often in Bollywood songs?
The films that I select are few — having a theme, story and director whose thought process resonates with mine and gives me a creative challenge/ opportunity to do something new!

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