ETimes Behind The Scenes: ‘Today’s directors ask for steps that would become a hit to make Instagram reels,’ says Gadar 2 choreographer Shabina Khan | Hindi Movie News – Times of India

Gadar 2 is going great guns what with its record breaking spree at the box office. the Sunny Deol and Ameesha Patel starrer is also known for its foot tapping songs that are already a rage on social media, especially the reprised Udd Ja Kaale Kaava and Main Nikla Gaddi Leke that were a part of the original. ETimes sat down with choreographer Shabina Khan who shared interesting tidbits from behind the scenes of each song in the Gadar 2 album, working with Anil Sharma, Sunny Deol and Ameesha Patel, how choreography has evolved over the years and more.Read the entire conversation below:
“I have known Anil Sharma for a long time ever since I was an assistant choreographer with Ganesh Acharya. I was very young at the time when I did Hero: Love Story of a Spy with him. I also did his son Utkarsh Sharma’s debut film Genius. That time he told me that I was a good choreographer and did my work sensibly. He promised me that he would work with me in his next film and when Gadar 2 started, he called me to do choreography. It was not decided that I would do all the songs of the film but the songs came to me one after the other. When the first song came to me, I realised that my responsibility had increased.
I don’t look at it as a big film or a small film. I want to choreograph sensible songs. Today, the film’s characters are going in one way and the lyrics are going the other way and the song is getting shot. I never liked such songs. I have always wanted to choreograph songs that move the story forward. And with that understanding only I started working on Gadar 2. After Uunchai, I immediately joined Gadar 2 and focused only on Gadar 2. I did no other film. It’s not that I can’t do multiple films simultaneously but I like to focus on one film and do something different.

Udd Jaa Kaale Kaava

When I got to choreograph Udd Jaa Kaale Kaava, I realised that Mithoon has recreated the song but hadn’t killed the soul of the original. I also didn’t want to kill the soul of the original song’s choreography. I watched Gadar: Ek Prem Katha again and worked on the song for 15-20 days.
The soul of this song is the little things that Tara and Sakina share. Like the Taj Mahal which is symbolic to their love, and the Sarangi that Tara plays when he goes to Sakina’s college. I showed that they have preserved all these little things for 22 years. There’s also the turban that Sakina tied on Tara’s head when he goes to drop her across the border in the first film. I focused on showing how Tara and Sakina’s love has matured over the years. In the new song when Tara makes Sakina wear his turban it’s a big thing.

Main Nikla Gaddi Leke

It is a cult song choreographed by Jay Borade. It was a lovely choreography and it still stays in people’s hearts. In the new song, I had to show the family bonding, they are ready to die for each other. Every song moves the story forward in Gadar 2. You’ll see a lot of love and romance in the song. There’s a shot of Utkarsh switching off a light for Tara and Sakina, it’s a nice gesture. I felt proud of myself when I saw the song two years after it was filmed.


People think that choreographers don’t do such songs. But when I do a film, I get involved in the film in every which way possible. In Khairiyat, you’ll see that a father is going to Pakistan carrying his son’s letter with him to bring him back. I have lived this film. I have put my life experiences into this film. I also come from a huge family and we’re ready to die for each other. So, I put all that love and passion into the choreography of this song.
In the sad versions of Udd Jaa… also, where a father is searching for his son, I used to cry while shooting the song. The father and son meet in Pakistan and Sakina feels something has happened as her ‘dupatta’ falls off her head. Her prayers are answered. This is the story and emotions of every family.

Chal Tere Ishq Mein and Jhoom Jhoom

Jhoom Jhoom is picturised on Utkarsh Sharma. For that song, Utkarsh used to come to me to practice on the ’70s songs for two months so that he could get the body language of that era right. I got all the songs from the years 1970 to 1972 and made Utkarsh practice 3-4 hours every day for two months.
You can see the elements of his character’s life in the song. There’s a whole story of him going to the girl’s house disguised as a ‘Khansama’. He still keeps remembering his mother as he gels with the girl’s family.
There’s one portion of Namaz that I have borrowed from one of the trivia of our Makhdoom Shah Ali Baba at Mahim Darga. So, Baba’s mother had asked for water and by the time Baba could fetch water for his mother she fell asleep. So, Baba stayed by her side thinking he would give her water whenever she woke up from her sleep. So, when mother finally wakes up in the morning, she gives ‘duas’ to Baba that nobody should return empty-handed from your door. So, I used one element of that story. When Muskan’s mother is offering Namaz, Jeetey comes with water but seeing her offering Namaz, he remembers his own mother. When Muskan’s mother sees that, she gives ‘duas’ to him. If I hadn’t drawn from my life experiences, these songs wouldn’t have connected with the audience the way they have.

Change in choreography

Choreography has changed drastically. When Saroj Khan ji used to be an assistant, there used to be classical masters who used to teach girls the haav-bhaav, adaayein. Things changed over the years but one thing didn’t change at that time which has changed today – and that is telling stories and characters through your songs.
Today, directors ask for songs without really telling the story. They ask for steps that would become a hit to make Instagram reels. My point is that we don’t choreograph dance steps so that people make reels. People make reels based on the dance steps in the song.
Anil Sharma never told me to choreograph songs for reels. Gadar 2’s composer Mithoon agrees with this thought that he also doesn’t want to make songs for reels. Songs are a Hindi film’s soul and I wanted to nourish it and let it flourish. Today, people don’t do choreography according to the lyrics.
I move on with the changing times. I incorporate the trends but I don’t let go of the basics. Otherwise, today’s generation wouldn’t have liked Gadar 2. Farah Khan ma’am called me at 4 o’ clock in the morning and said, “I watched Gadar 2 and liked your choreography. I called Anil Sharma and got your number from him.” When my idol called me and appreciated my work, it felt great. Sooraj Barjatya ji and other filmmakers with whom I have worked also told me that they liked my work in Gadar 2.”

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