'Anyone should be able to do a signature step'

Dancing duo

Rahul Shetty was only four years old when he danced for the first time. “It was one of those society competitions, where my mother had dressed me up like a girl,” he laughs, adding that was when his association with dance began.

Similarly, while he was more into painting and music, Paul Marshal enjoyed watching Govinda and Prabhu Deva on screen and impersonating them. “You know how it is, do a few steps, get praised by family and friends, and it just clicks. However, I was keener on learning how to paint or play the drums, but could not afford to do so then,” he says.

Years later, they met on the sets of dance reality show Krazzy Kiya Re, and since then have gone on to work with renowned choreographers like Bosco-Caesar, Remo D’Souza, Ahmed Khan and Uma-Gaiti, and even choreographed dancer-turned-director Prabhu Deva in ABCD 2.

“That was the first song we ever choreographed. And imagine the person to be taught was Prabhu Deva. While we took about four days to prepare, he just did all of it in a day!” exclaims Marshal. Recently, the duo collaborated for Beat Pe Booty from Tiger Shroff and Jacqueline Fernandez-starrer A Flying Jatt, which has spread like wildfire on social media, with people improvising the moves, and dancing to the song.

“We had never imagined that the song will go viral to this extent. All we knew was that we had to make a hook step (signature step). But while thinking of the steps, we had no idea that it would be picked up the way it has,” Shetty tells Metrolife.

“The challenge was to make it look sensual and quirky, in accordance with the lyrics, without being vulgar,” he adds. Agrees Marshal, who says they were told by Remo (director) that the song should highlight a different side of Tiger (Shroff). “Tiger, who is a great dancer, is known for his waves. So, while we had to stick to his strengths, we also had to present him in a new avatar,” he says.

Explaining their working style, Marshal says that they first listen to the song “N number of times”, after which they attempt freestyle dancing. “We then improvise and work on whichever steps look good. So, in this case, once we had the hook step in mind, we called a lot of people and asked them to do it. And after watching them, we knew that if it looked so good on them, it would look much better on Tiger,” he says.

However, Shetty says that even though a lot of people are trying to do the step “it isn’t an easy one”. But for Marshall, “a signature step should be something which can be done by everyone”.He admits that it isn’t easy to always come up with such steps. “You have to be observant, which is why we watch children when they are dancing. And to share, 80 to 90 per cent of the times we get ideas for our choreography from children,” says Marshall.

While the duo is riding high on getting opportunities to choreograph ace dancers like Tiger, Prabhu Deva and even Hrithik Roshan so early in their careers, Shetty says that working with actors who are good dancers also has its share of challenges.

“That is because a good dancer will always have certain expectations from the choreographers, which at times becomes challenging to meet. So in the end we have
to come to a middle path and go ahead with the choreography,” he says.

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