[Note: this is a bad post. The subject surely lends itself to better, but I am v distracted by and worried about my trip - now two weeks away - and have stared and stared at this but just can't figure out how to make it better. Sorry, gentle readers.]
So the film shoot with the so-called Bollywood-style dance number was yesterday. There was nothing exceptionally Bollywood about this little scene, although it did feature long-lost lovers, an item-ish fire dancer in very revealing clothes, a guy with a ukele suddenly appearing next ot the couple (anyone with me that this was a vague nod to DDLJ and/or MHN?), and choreo that could roughly be sorted into the "boys vs. girls" category. Very roughly. But we did dance to "One, Two, Three Baby" by Asha Bhosle and Mahendra Kapoor, and, based on how many people I heard humming under their breath, said tune got firmly stuck in the head of all 60 or so people present. If pressed, I'd describe the dance moves as closer to hula than filmi, but I'll take what I can get. I've always heard that making movies involves lots of standing around and waiting, and now I believe it. It took two hours to learn our sixteen-count routine, practice it about five times, and shoot at least ten various versions of it. Melina aptly described the whole scene as looking like a bad skirt convention, with oodles of us in those annoyingly ubiquitous prairie skirts (myself included) and many others in what had to have been 1990 homecoming dance calf-length tragedies. But bad clothes really just added to the feel - Karisma would have been right at home.
Update: by popular demand, here is a photo (albeit measly), a nice shot of my university's quad. We danced in front of the domed building at the far end, which is a big lecture hall.
Sadly I don't have a picture of us dancing, because...I was busy dancing. Sorry to disappoint! (Although I have to say, if any of you think I would post a picture of myself dancing, you can think again, because the little dancing fu I have is focused on ballroom rather than anything that could fit the hip-centric thing we did. I have not "the latin motion," as a dance instructor once described the rhumba. But mind you I plan to win my dance-off! What I lack in skill I make up for in feeling.) If I find an action shot online anywhere, I will certainly post it.
Perhaps I can sate you with a description of the dance. It was 16 counts long. The first four counts involved arms at shoulder level and alternating our hands over our eyes, sort of in a windshield wiper effect but towards the center - this made me think of being coy behind a fan or something, although our motivation was never spelled out. So left, right, left with that, then take both hands and fan them outwards away from your body, arms extended, in sort of a "sunrise" kind of way. In the next four beats we did a hip-swaying hula-type thing to the left, then we did that to the right for the next four beats. Our final counts were turning in place towards the left with our arms up over our heads with elbows bent in sort of a vertical hula thing. I'm sure there's a name for this but I'm equally sure I have no idea what it would be called - I've seen it before, and when properly done I suppose it's serpentine and seductive or something. As we did it, not so much. I cannot overemphasize how rag-tag this group was. Then we would freeze in some sort of random pose during the verse until it was time to dance again. This pose bit was tricky, as we were left to our own devices to pick a pose. I madly tried to channel Aish and Urmila, wondering what such goddesses would do in this situation; most people settled on an arms akimbo hands on hips kind of thing, looking pouty or defiant. The best pose was one of the guys opposite me who had his head jutted out and lipsed pursed in an aggressive yet silly way that made it very hard for me not to laugh. The men's part involved bent knees, slapping their legs, and a variation on the sprinkler - a little J Timberlake-y. Then we did our moves again and froze. We also entered and exited the scene by running screaming, waving our arms around. If I understood correctly, we were the backdrop of some suddenly-reuinted lovers, which of course struck me as perfectly appropriate.
Update: here's a picture of the end of the filming.
You can see, from the left, the fire dancer, two of the random little girls (there was a special dance for them, and they ran around with someone who probay was the villain, as he was dressed in red and had a bad fake moustache, very much like Crime Master Gogo) the director-type guy (in white t-shirt), and on the far right, the ukelele player. I promise to try to take photos of me dancing, but that will have to wait until after the big event I have at work tonight.