How will you describe the experience of choreographing Salman Khan in Billi Billi from Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan?
He is amazing and it was fun to work with him. He feels no tension about the steps. He learns the steps on sets and performs them. Sometimes, if there’s something in particular that we need to tell him then we go to his house at Galaxy Apartments and brief him about it. I think there were 300 to 500 dancers in the song. Our DOP V Manikandan has shot the song beautifully as well.
Having worked with Salman Khan how do you rate his skill as a dancer?
I worked with Salman Khan in Jai Ho but I was working under Radhika Rao back then. I worked under Prabhudheva Sir on the Seeti Maar song. Billi Billi is my first-time choreographing Salman Khan on my own.
He has rhythm in his body. He always suggests that whatever dance steps he does should be easy for the fans to emulate. He wants the songs, even if it’s an item song, to have dignity and grace. So that when the item song comes on TV people shouldn’t change the channel. They should be able to watch it with family. He thinks about people and which steps would look good if people perform them. Both of us think that our dance steps should be easy to do for everyone from a child to an old person.
We used to gym together. I have learned a lot from him. From him, I’ve learnt how to stay down to earth and how to behave with people who are less privileged than me and how to respect women.
How did you sign on to choreograph Billi Billi?
I got a call from Sharmila ma’am who is handling the film’s production. She said, Bhai wanted to meet me. Then Bhai told me to come over to discuss things. I have choreographed five songs in this film. We did the first song in Hyderabad. And slowly I did all songs one by one. There’s one big song that I have choreographed for this film where Ram Charan makes a cameo appearance.
Ram Charan sir gave me my first chance in a film. I was supposed to do Magadheera with him but missed out on that. Later, I got to do the film titled Racha (2012) with him.
You also worked with SS Rajamouli after that.
Rajamouli sir is my Guru. When I started out as a choreographer, I had gone to the shoot of one of his films. He liked my style and picked me. He taught me the importance of timing and framing in choreography. How many shots to get as per minute of the song? I did Maryada Ramanna, Eega and Baahubali with him. We call him Nandi Sir, which means ‘very close’ and we call him ‘Jakanna’ too.