The “Naatu Naatu” Dance Sequence (Searcher)

RRR (Rajamouli, 2022) is an extremely engaging film due to its non-stop action and striking visual effects, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats throughout the entire cinematic experience. After so much violence and brutality in the opening scenes, a sequence that really took me by surprise was when Bheem and Ram break into their traditional local dance. Not only was the choreography extremely quick and advanced, but their amazing athletic ability and coordination became even more apparent and impressive. For this reason, after finishing the film, I was interested in learning about the dance sequence and how it came to be, which led me to reading a New York Times article entitled “‘Naatu Naatu’ From ‘RRR’ Is a Worldwide Hit, but It Draws on Very Local Traditions.”

The article delves into the extraordinary success of the song, and despite the film’s global acclaim, it emphasizes its roots in South India’s Tollywood industry and the distinctiveness of the traditional dance showcased in the “Naatu Naatu” sequence. The choreographer, Prem Rakshith, explains the meticulous planning behind the dance, and the article also underscores its authenticity, debunking any misconceptions about artificial enhancements, with Rakshith adding innovative touches like synchronized head-and-foot swivels and stretchy suspenders moves. The article also explains how the cinematography during the sequence drew inspiration from classical Indian musical duets and the golden age of MGM, and how the composition of the song itself utilized traditional instruments, like duffs. The article concludes by attributing the song’s breakout success to the synergy of Rakshith’s choreography and the inherent beat in Chandrabose’s lyrics, as advised by Rajamouli during the creative process.

One thought on “The “Naatu Naatu” Dance Sequence (Searcher)

  1. Interesting. I hadn’t considered that they may have artificially synchronised the movements but now that you mention it (even in the context of its debunking) it seems entirely plausible given how flawless the sequence is. All the more impressive for it to be authentic.

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