Based in Dubai, entrepreneur-choreographer Rajeswari Vaidyanathan has come a long way in the pursuit of her passion. From establishing a Latin, Ballroom & Club dance school in India, VR Dancesport, to choreographing for various international projects, Rajeswari has done it all. In a recent interaction with indianexpress.com, Rajeswari spoke about choreographing a pivotal dance sequence for the series A Suitable Boy, working with acclaimed director Mira Nair and more.
Excerpts from the conversation:
How would you say dance helps the story of A Suitable Boy move forward?
Unlike a typical Indian production, the dance sequences here are not stand-alone things. They are intricately woven into the plot. The first sequence is seen in the very first episode. It subtly introduces the lead characters and the underlying relationship between them. It also speaks volumes of the true nature of these lead characters. The main choreography comes at a later episode, where the dance sequence unravels a very critical part of the storyline. This was an exciting part of the project as it involved training the lead characters for pivotal performance. There are smaller dance sequences scattered in various episodes which again are subtly woven into the plot to take it ahead.
Dance sequences of this kind are a medium to enhance and communicate emotions in a beautiful way.
Who were the actors that you worked with and what was the experience like of being on a Mira Nair set?
We worked with several lead actors, including Tanya Maniktala. Most of the actors were fresh for this Latin Ballroom kind of dance movement but adapted very well.
Honestly, working with Mira on the sets was a beautiful experience. She has an eye for detail. As a choreographer, I am not comfortable fusing the Indian version with Latin & Tango, which I hold dearly to my heart, and have gone to great extent to pioneer the international form. This was in line with what Mira exactly wanted. Her approach to quality, perfection and eye for detail matched mine, which really made the experience of choreography and training very comfortable.
How was choreographing for a show like this different from how you usually work?
Training in these dance forms takes a lot of time. In Befikre, we had only Vaani Kapoor and Ranveer Singh to train for 90 hours. Here, we had much less time and over 20 people training 10 lead actors. Some danced 2-3 dance forms. This is not an easy task. I had my dance partner, Shannon, to assist me in the mammoth task. While the creativity and planning was mine, he was of great help executing and coordinating such a huge project.
Can you tell us a bit about your upcoming projects?
Currently, I am focusing on training students (who are also teachers) from various parts of the country in International Latin. The lockdown has been a blessing. In spite of me shifting to Dubai, I have been able to continue the spread of Dancesport in India, and reach the remotest parts of the country.
In Dubai, where Dancesport hasn’t reached yet, we are in the process of training various kids and adults for the same. My focus will be to get our students to participate in major international competitions in 2021. Once things regularise, we hope to have more movie and ad projects, wherein focus would be on quality. That’s where our forte lies.
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