Karan Johar’s Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani starring Alia Bhatt and Ranveer Singh is out in theatres and among the many scenes that have been applauded by the audience, the ‘Dole Re Dola’ sequence with Ranveer and Tota Roy Chowdhury has been receiving a lot of praise. The sequence, which appears in the film towards the latter half and is followed by the song ‘Dhindhora Baje Re’, was choreographed by Vaibhavi Merchant.
In a chat with India Today, Vaibhavi shared that the actors rehearsed for a month before filming the sequence. She said that Ranveer was a “wreck” when she sent him the video of the choreography and was “so nervous because he wasn’t trained in classical dance.” The choreographer shared that it took almost 30-40 days of training for the actors to get the steps rights. “We went back and forth about adding, subtracting, depending on what was working for the song,” she said.
For Ranveer, that period of training also included the rehearsal for “Dhindora Baje Re’ and Vaibhavi recalled that a week before the shoot “everyone was nervous”, but she added, “there are no other ways to do it, you have go through the grind.”
The sequence appears just before the big showdown between Rani and Rocky’s father Tijori, and a lot of it gets triggered because of Rocky performing on stage. “He understood and realised the gravity of this scene and sequence. He was nervous about whether he could pull it off. I wasn’t because I had choreographed it in a way that would complement his character. The character has almost three months of experience in the dance form in the movie as well, so we kept that in mind,” she said.
Speaking about the comparisons between the original ‘Dola Re Dola’ from Devdas, and their film, Vaibhavi shared that Karan was very clear on his idea of an ode to other filmmakers. “It was not copying. Karan was very clear that ‘Vaibs, I want to do an ode.’ The entire film is an ode-fest, if you see. Be it a musical ode, or Yash Ji or older films. Initially, when it came out, people were all comparing, but that’s how it is, the myopic vision they have sometimes. We just have to sit back and see. I have been through it so many times that we don’t even react,” she said. The original song was choreographed by Saroj Khan.
In a recent chat with Film Companion, Karan said that the ode to Sanjay Leela Bhansali was intentional and he had designed it that way.