‘A Love Letter to Tollywood’: Producer Raj Kapoor Discusses Bringing ‘Naatu Naatu’ to the Oscars Stage

‘A Love Letter to Tollywood’: Producer Raj Kapoor Discusses Bringing ‘Naatu Naatu’ to the Oscars

14 Mar. 2023

As if making Hollywood’s greatest evening wasn’t a tall sufficient activity. ninety fifth Academy Awards introduced a singular problem to producer Raj Kapoor: translating one of the iconic music and dances in movie historical past for the Oscars stage. The finest movie that made historical past and received an Oscar from SRT — Make this yr’s ceremony much more particular.

“I used to be born in New Delhi. India and immensely proud to have helped form the reside performances of ‘Naatu Naatu’,” the producer stated after Sunday’s ceremony. “The Oscar-nominated song is a historic moment in Indian cinema. And I want to make sure the show pays extra attention to collaborating with the creators of the original music.”

When MM Keeravaani, composer and songwriter Chandrabose received the Academy Award for Best Original Song, “Naatu Naatu” turned the primary music from an Indian movie to take action. earlier than that historic second Drama singers Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava took the stage on the Dolby Theater with a dance troupe — together with lead dancers Komaram Bheem and A. Rama Raju (performed within the NT Rama Rao Jr. and Ram Charan movies, respectively). ) – for excessive power present of the enduring musical sequence of the blockbuster.

Kapoor, who began his profession as a choreographer and dancer. Has been engaged on the Oscars since 2017, with the ninety fifth Academy Awards being his seventh (he is additionally a three-time Emmy nominee). for his efficiency on the Grammy Awards. and 2021 Executive Producer Emmy winner. Adele: One evening solely..) Below, Kapoor opens up in regards to the duties of honor. SRTand international makes an attempt by Hollywood and Tollywood to drag it off.

A.body: Can you inform us what bringing this efficiency to the Oscars means to you?

This present may be very private for me as India is my hometown. Grew up watching Indian movies however by no means had the chance to work professionally on Indian movie initiatives. I really feel deeply referred to as to honor this very particular movie. My father handed away on the finish of July 2022 and he all the time feels proud each time information of the outstanding achievements of an individual from India is launched. His delight exhibits how proud individuals of India are when South Asian artists are celebrated on the worldwide stage. I simply knew we needed to put collectively an impressive crew from each side of the world to drag this off in a jiffy. I would like it to be a love letter to Bollywood/Tollywood musicals. individuals in india and its affect all through the world.

Rahul Sipligunj, Tabitha and Napoleon D’umo, Prem Rakshith and Kaala Bhairava.

This reside present was an enormous manufacturing. Can you inform us the way it got here collectively?

We are extraordinarily proud to work alongside the movie’s artistic crew to assist outline the efficiency of “Naatu Naatu” for the Oscars. During the primary artistic name We spoke with Karthikeya, the movie’s public relations crew. [Rajamouli]movie producer and composer M.J. Kiravadee as quickly because the nominations have been introduced. We enlisted the choreographer Prem Raksid to collaborate because the choreography is so distinctive that it impacts the music’s impression.

The two lead actors have been initially going to be the celebs of the quantity together with singers Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava. can

Prem and his assistant made a video detailing the choreography for the audition. which we despatched to the most important dance company in Los Angeles. Tabitha and Napoleon D’umo, aka Nappytabs, have been introduced in to assist sequence and format for tv utilizing Original dance strikes from the film. Once we obtained approval for the music enhancing from MM Keeravaani, we referred to as Zoom late into the evening with the choreographers in India and Los Angeles. We have shared casting choices. costume design concepts and stage rendering with a crew from India

in late February We have been knowledgeable that Ram Charan and NT Rama Rao Jr. will likely be attending the Oscars. But they have been uncomfortable performing reside numbers on stage. The change was made because of different skilled commitments and restricted time for rehearsals. The unique quantity was skilled and rehearsed for 2 months. The Oscars efficiency “Naatu Naatu” rehearsed in Los Angeles with skilled dancers, totaling 18 hours of rehearsal and a 90-day digital camera ban. 1 minute

Photographs by Tabitha and Napoleon D’umo.

Can you share some insights into the casting course of?

The theme of the music “Naatu Naatu” within the movie is when a bunch of non-Indians joins a dance with an Indian couple. It exhibits the universality of music, power and artwork type in itself. Although the movie’s unique sequence featured roughly 50 dancers, most of whom have been Caucasian. But we determined that our 20 supporting dancers can be numerous and are available from all completely different backgrounds. Audiences around the globe have fallen in love with “Naatu Naatu” and are dancing in theaters around the globe. So we need to be open to all nationalities to assist have a good time this worldwide hit. and to have a good time the common energy of music and dance .

on the identical time We need to be ourselves in films and respect Indian tradition. which is why the producer The movie’s choreographers, lead actors and singers have been contacted early on and have been concerned in our choices. Knowing that the 2 lead actors couldn’t participate So we work with Prem. Our crew in India and our crew in USA to seek out the 2 lead characters who seize the scourge energy of the movie characters and their tales – energetic dancing expertise.

After a number of weeks of preparation How does it really feel to look at a reside efficiency?

I’m filled with delight The quantity despatched all the things that was hoped for. The impression of the unimaginable music paired with probably the most artistic and inventive choreography ever to be seen on the Oscars stage, I imagine “Naatu Naatu” will go down in Academy Awards historical past. as top-of-the-line dancers ever And we sincerely hope that we are able to put Prem, Tabitha and Napoleon in consideration for Outstanding Choreography for the Emmys later this yr. It’s undoubtedly one thing it deserves. and exhibits what occurs when individuals from all around the world come collectively to create particular moments that will not be quickly forgotten.

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