Dola Re my toughest dance number - Saroj Khan

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By Saroj Khan in the Mumbai Mirror

I have choreographed over 2000 dances till date. However, the Dola Re number in Devdas was the toughest. Choreographing two leading heroines for the same dance was a challenge. Madhuri Dixit and Aishwarya Rai are both brilliant dancers and I couldn't let either of them feel that they did not have good steps. I was scared that the one of them may feel left out, but luckily nothing untoward happened. Both of them loved the steps and put their heart and soul into the dance.

The dance was totally based on classical forms. I had to make sure that the 'todas' I gave each of them were balanced. I had to keep in mind that both needed to look bright on screen. Madhuri and I had worked before. She had the habit of rehearsing before the shoot. Her faults used to get corrected during the practice sessions. On the other hand, Aishwarya used to rehearse before the shoot itself.

The form of dance that I explored with Dola Re, is called Nautwary. It included steps of Kathak and Bharatnatyam. It was a mix of Indian classical dance forms. While many dancers have danced to the Dola Re song afterwards, nobody could achieve what Madhuri and Aishwarya did. They worked really hard. There were several retakes. At a particular point, they had to fall. It had to be perfectly in sync with the beats. It was physically demanding for both actresses.

I must add that Sanjay Leela Bhansali(SLB) was extremely involved with the dance number. He is trained in Kathak and choreographing for his film was not easy. If I made a mistake, he would have realised. He used to give inputs on the dance as well. In fact, he was so excited about the sequence that at times he would just get up and hug me. He would then whistle and get emotional. After the shoot was over, he even sent flowers and chocolates to my home the next day.

I got 17 awards for the song. This included the national award. It's called the best dance in modern Hindi cinema. Earlier it was Hothon Pe Aisi Baat from Jewel Thief on which, Vyjyanthimala had danced. That was choreographed by my Guru Mr B Sohanlal.

Comments

what about if sridevi in the dance with maduri. I am sure sridevi will be the best!

Dancing just doesn't mean being more agile and dynamic. It means right movements with balanced grace and delicacy.i am not a madhuri or ash fan. My favourite is sridevi.but I have watched the dola re a number of times and I can say ash is not dancing. She is jumping. Madhuri is actually dancing and that too with the right amount of movements, grace and delicacy. Ash should have taken some training from madhuri for this dance before shooting.

WHO CAN DANCE WITH THE DIVA MADHURTI DIXIT IT'S OBVIOUSLY ASH..HER EVERGRENN GRACE CAN PULL OFF ANYTHING

Ash's grace is freakin mindblowing!!

ash is a drama queen. she was once asked how did she prepare for a particular role. she said she has to sit for 4 hrs trying to get curls in her hair.. haa haa

Madhuri danced so well in this song ! i was just looking at Madhuri....she has expression..aish is overrated.....shes more like, "tooo much" expressions...its called overacting...

best Bolly dancer of the 2000s: Aishwarya
best Bolly dancer of the '90s: Madhuri

@Sun, 2012-02-19 05:52 — Anonymous

ashwariya is amazing, her dance is effortless and graceful while u watching madhuri (in dola re to be specific) u know she is putting a lotsa effort. both are great dancers though
________________________________________________
I am sure that you are an ash fan but it doesn't mean that you can speak anything....i am not a fan of madhuri and i really like aishwarya in roles like HDDCS,guru,devdas,chokar bali.,I have seen her films more than i have seen madhuri ...but when it comes to dancing skills...no one can beat madhuri...dancing comes so natural to her,her expressions and rhythmic moves no one can even come close to her dancing talent....just like no one has aishwary's gorgeous eyes:)

Mads was pregnant during Devadas, just google it her dancing and hourglass body is 100% BETTER aish's straight stiff body and mediocre dancing moves.

AISHWARYA IS THE BEST

mads couldn't keep up with aish at times
aish was a whirlpool of dynamic dancing but mads was good too

looooooove mads n ash. both great dancers n good actresses. Legends of hindi cinema. I am their biggest fans from KSA. I hope to see them onscreen together again,

She was awesome dancing en Devdas!

ashwariya is amazing, her dance is effortless and graceful while u watching madhuri (in dola re to be specific) u know she is putting a lotsa effort. both are great dancers though

madhuri wasnt preggs during devdas lolz.

Madhuri wasn't pregnant during Dola Re. Her son was born almost 8 months after Devdas released. She couldn't have been 3 months pregnant even if they were still shooting right up to the release date, which of course they weren't. I think that's just an enduring rumor that keeps getting passed around.

But anyway, Dola Re is a masterpiece nevertheless :)

I doubt there can EVER be a problem working with Mads and Aish (or both against each other) as both are not only the best of professionals but also very very decent and good-hearted human beings. I can't ever see them getting in ego hassles. And am sure they respect each other so much. Was good to watch this song again. The first time I took notice of Aish's amazing dancing skills was when I watched Nimbooda long ago.

Truly, 2 of the best Bolly dancers I've ever seen! Well, I'm more familiar with Aish, so I love her more, but Mads was amazing too in the few movies I've seen with her. And what a perfect choreography Dola Re has, and perfect, beautiful song, and perfect scenery, and utterly beautiful ladies...truly, an absolute masterpiece of a Bollywood song picturization!! Hats off to Saroj Khan, SLB and the music composer, too!!

Ok, just a question: Devdas was shown at Cannes in May 2002 ( I presume in India was released a bit earlier), and I also read that Madhuri gave birth in March 2003 on wiki if it's an accurate info, so how could she have been pregnant during filming Devdas? The shooting must have finished earlier in 2002, in March at the latest date, and there must exist a post production period of a few months after an actual shooting is ended... but it does say on IMDb that she was pregnant throughout the production, so maybe she gave birth in late 2002?
Another Devdas trivia was that Ash's ears were bleeding from the heavy jewelry worn meanwhile filming and dancing Dola Re, but she continued dancing without saying a word...after reading this bit, I always watch her ears for signs of blood, haha, but it's not visible, or at least I haven't spotted it yet. I think SLB mentions it in some interview, together with another incident: Ash burning her feet without complains in the desert sand in Man Mohini's picturization from HDDCS. At least she won some awards for all this suffering. ;) :P

FALSE - Madhuri WAS NOT THREE MONTHS PREGNANT. Her first son was born in 2003 way after Devdas which completed filming in 2001 and released in early 2002.

Stop spreading this fake story. Madhuri is a great dancer and does not need to be boosted above Aishwarya this way.

i can't believe mads was 3 months preg as well - what a star and a gem of a dancer!! one of the best bwood dancers ever.

aishwarya's body is so stiff and she jumps too much Maduhri is even pregnant but her body is still so flexible, elastic and luchakdar like a rubber and she moves so seductively in this soong.

Though Madhuri was almost 3 months pregnant, she did an awesome job. Aish was great but Madhuri is a charming dancer.
See Badi Mushkil... You'll know how good Madhuri is.
TFS Sujata:)

Everything about the song was perfect.Right from the sets to the costumes to the choreography and co-ordination,to the music to the camerawork.PERFECT!!.And it had the two best female dancers in the country.All the hard work put in showed up in the song.It can go down as the best dance sequence in the world.

I love reading behind the scenes stuff like this

Madhuri and Aishwarya were the last 2 great female dancers in bollywood

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