Interview By: DRISHTI PANDEY

‘Naach Meri Jaan’ from ‘Tubelight’ has become pretty popular – not only because of Salman Khan but for its innocence and the brotherhood which it showcases. The song instantly touches your heart, in terms of how it’s portrayed – and we speak to none other than Shabina Khan who’s choreographed it. She tells us why this song was relatable for her and more…in this chat!

“I work like a student and I believe work is my study. I have to do my homework”

What was your thought process after you heard the song “Naach Meri Jaan”, what was your reaction?

Firstly I was very excited to get a call from director Kabir Khan he’s my favorite director,so I was very excited and when one is excited to do anything one puts in their heart and soul into it. So certain energy came within me and it was like I was selected for something big and now it’s just that I have to reach the finals; so I started preparing myself to reach the finals. Because I work like a student and I believe work is my study and I have to do my homework.

To choreograph Salman Khan is to have minute detail about him and his character, and to emerge your choreography with his style so how was that process?

Salman Khan’s character in this film is completely different from what he has been playing, like he is not playing larger than life hero or looking all glamorous, stunning, this character is very different. When Kabir sir narrated me Salman’s character so I was amazed to know that what kind of character Salman will be playing because with every film he has something else to tell; so then I asked Kabir sir to give me the script, he was shock because choreographers normally don’t ask for script. But I believe to know the character better we need to read the script and I always read the script and start writing my understandings about the character. My brother is my assistant choreographer and since he’s my brother and we are working together so it made it much easier to relate more to the song; because first when I heard I had already connected to the song and film because I have three brothers. So I and my brother we both started writing small things about ourselves, how we act, react, and then we started working on the song. So in this process I wrote the script of the song. And also what Kabir sir wanted so I wrote and took draft to him and showed him, in which he liked certain things and then from both our understandings w got the songs script ready.

So in that sense, did the relatability come naturally?

Yeah absolutely, and also that he is my assistant and we both related to the brotherhood song and made it as real as possible.

Was there any point of difficulty to get the creativity in the song yet keeping Salman Khan’s style in mind?

No, not really, it’s just that you have to understand Salmanto give him some steps but since I have worked with him before; like in “Prem Ratan Dhan Payo” and many more songs so to understand him it’s important to understand his dance, style, and his character. Because even he doesn’t go out of his character and do anything; so since I’ve worked with him before it was easier, secondly diffculty occurred to me when I was doing the rehearsals of the song because the film is of 1962, the character is different and the song has been made in today’s day and age. And Salman Khan having huge fan followings so to remove such a step that will look like that period and also suit the character and also our audience except it and do that step; so that was a moment of pressure but I’m glad we achieved it and everyone has liked it. I’m very happy with the respond the song got. 

How was it to work with Salman Khan once again?

I feel we are destined to work together because my first film as an assistant was “Khamoshi.” I remember I was in school that time so I feel some kind of connect we have, and he helps only talented people; and I have grown up working and watching him. So then when I became independent he called me for ‘Dabangg’, ‘Jai Ho’, and he kept calling me for the kind of work I can do. He has so many films and he has so many choreographers; so who he thinks is apt for the work he calls them. And now in this film he called me because he thought I will do this song better. But yes, when you are working with Salman Khan you know that the whole world will want to work with you. So automatically your career is boosted there because the whole world will see your song because Salman Khan is there in it. So for me to showcase my work, no one is better than him; so it’s like when you are working with Salman you automatically become big. It’s a pleasure and prayers that I get to work with him.

Any favorite step of you and Salman Khan?

We both use to love the “Prem Ratan Dhan Payo” step, he told me it’s Sonam Kapoor’s step but people ask me to do that step and that he loves it. And also in “Naach Meri Jaan” he loves the step of the knee bending step.

How easy it is to teach him steps and how is he as a learner?

I would like to tell everyone that Salman Khan is a very good dancer and hence he takes only one or two rehearsals and he gives takes. And he rehearsals on the spot at the shoot and not in the rehearsal hall; and he doesn’t even give much re-takes. So when a person has all these qualities he becomes India’s best dance and according to me,because to dance without giving many takes and also doing rehearsals for just one to two times he becomes a best dancer.

What’s coming up next for you?

I have couple of films lined up which is under production so the names have not confirmed. I have a film ‘Aksar 2’ which has very good songs, then ‘Ram Ratan’ also I will be working on.

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