…piece of music that would always bring me peace and into a sublime mood is this lovely number – Dheem – from the movie Thakshak.
This 3.50 minute piece is and will always be the most used and favorite for all who remotely dance and/or choreograph in different styles. Bollywood, Fusion, Kathak, Kuchipudi, Bharatnatyam, Odissi among a few, and various groups or individual dancers, wearing traditional and fusion costumes have performed this all over the world. It’s a favorite for the beat, rhythm, the freedom of expression, and will always be a challenge to outshine the other in the nuances, and poses one can incorporate in it.
Simply said, this is a piece that no matter how many times you listen, there’s always a note that a dancer would discover that could be changed, fine-tuned or even left out to create a visual treat.
As you watch the original video, a few things strike even the untrained artistic eye.
- The music is divine, classical and Hindustani.
- The voice is aptly suited and demands a courtesy and respect.
- Tabu is dancing.
- Tabu is a sexy woman.
- She is not doing the usual graceful, waist bending, emotion, expression thing most actress-dancers do.
- A part of you wants to get up there and ask her to bend a little more, perhaps even twist her arm into fluid movements, to express the enjoyment and absolute happiness that can come when your body is engulfed in the notes.
Yet, there is a part of you that wants to just sit back and watch her go through the motions. The stiffer flailing of the arms, the constrained body, the serious face, her rigid posture and you can’t but wonder that perhaps, just perhaps, the Kathak style choreography (with some Bharatnatyam adavus) was meant to be that way. The music was set to movement to showcase her as a dancer not of norm.
It was a creative genius who squeezed her into this role, to seat her on a pedestal, to force people to view an art form through a different set of eyes. She in turn, being the excellent artist, carved a niche for herself as a dancer of a distinct respectable caliber.
Tabu at her unique best, without the costume, frills and lights of Mujhe Rang de, showcasing what every dancer no matter the style will agree when I say: a dancer’s truest performance is while in a sari hitched to mid-calf, during rehearsal; sweat beading at her forehead, neck, waist; sans makeup, hair in a knot, chest rising quick for breath at the end of a piece, and somehow just like that manage to look sensual and beautiful as ever.
Dance does that to a person.