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Aaja NachleAaja Nachle - tales from behind the scenes!
29th Nov 2007  22.20 IST
By Aparajita Ghosh  

Do you know that a great deal of brainstorming went into deciding whether the protagonist of Aaja Nachle would play a student of dance school or a theatre school.

Just a few hours remain for the highly anticipated movie of the year to hit the theatres. After a gap of five years, Madhuri Dixit returns to the big screen in a film that also marks the directorial debut of cinematographer Anil Mehta .

Here is a lowdown on how the film was conceived and here are some interesting tales from behind the scenes.


The germ of the story's idea came from Aditya Chopra . And when he approached cinematographer Anil Mehta to direct the film, the latter told him he wanted to direct a story set in a small town. Aditya brought about necessary changes in the story and roped in Jaideep Sahni to write the dialogues. As the trio sat together to work on the story and screenplay, they unanimously agreed that Madhuri Dixit was the right choice to play the leading role. From then on, the remaining story of the film was written keeping Madhuri in mind. However, there were doubts whether the protagonist should be a theatre student or a dance student in the film. It took a lot of discussions to come to the final decision.


In her first few days of shooting for 'Aaja Nachle', Madhuri felt a bit alien to the new style of working in Bollywood. She took her time getting used to the sync sound technology in which the dialogues are recorded during shooting itself and not in the dubbing studios. Madhuri says in the past she used to concentrate fully on her facial expressions while acting, as she knew she would dub her dialogues in studios. But shooting in sync sound doubled the challenge because she had to get both her expressions and dialogues right when the shot was being taken.


The comeback diva had no starry airs on the sets of the film and mingled with her co-stars as if they were her equals. In between shots, Madhuri played dumb charades with her co-stars Konkona Sen Sharma and Divya Dutta . Sometimes some of the unitmembers would also join in. However, none managed to match Madhuri's command over the game.


The whole cast of 'Aaja Nachle' was like a big family on the sets. And Madhuri played elder sister to co-star Divya Dutta and gave valuable tips to her to slim down. Apparently, Madhuri suggested Divya the same fitness regime that she herself had followed to get in shape for this film. The regime included following a strict diet and working out regularly.


Konkona Sen Sharma developed cold feet before she had to dance with Madhuri in a song. Says Konkona: "As far as acting with Madhuri is concerned I wasn't that nervous because I knew I could hold my own. But I began sweating at the mere thought of matching dance steps with her. Thankfully, my character in the film is not so good at dancing as Madhuri. And to my further relief our choreographer Vaibhavi Merchant gave me simple and easy dance steps. Still, I did not want to look foolish in front of Madhuri. Somehow, I pulled it off."


Incidentally, the story of 'Aaja Nachle' has an uncanny similarity with a Brazilian film titled 'Xuxa Requebra', which was the story of an ex-student of a dance academy, who wants to save her dance school from getting sold to drug dealers. In 'Aaja Nachle', Madhuri plays a woman who returns from the US to her small town to discover her former dance school in ruins. She takes it upon herself to revive the school and bring back the culture of dance in her hometown. Director Anil Mehta says the similarities between the two films are superficial.

Aaja Nachle
Madhuri Dixit
Anil Mehta
Aditya Chopra
Konkona Sen Sharma
Divya Dutta

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