Two months of dance preparation, consulting Birju Maharaj helped, admits Alia Bhatt

The release of the first song, ‘Ghar More Pardesiya’, from Abhishek Varman’s Kalank (2019) saw Alia Bhatt share the screen for the first time with Madhuri Dixit Nene. In a recent interview, Bhatt admitted that she was nervous to put on a performance in front of Dixit, who is an accomplished dancer. 

The actress told Mid-Day, “I was lucky that it wasn’t a dance-off. Madhuri ma’am could sense my tension; she was constantly instructing me on how to conduct myself. She ensured I performed everything perfectly – from the expressions to the steps. The spins were the toughest part; the weight of the lehenga made it difficult to spin fast. I was worried about how I had fared, but once I finished the take, Remo sir [D’Souza, choreographer] gave me an okay. That was reassuring.” 

Bhatt features in the song opposite Dixit, as they perform to a classical-based composition. However, the song does not feature Dixit herself joining Bhatt in the dance performance. 

The song certainly was among the actress’s key highlights in the film. The actress revealed that she went through two months of training, including consulting Pandit Birju Maharaj for the Kathak steps in the song. 

“While I trained in Indian classical dancing for nearly a year, I dedicated two months to this particular song. Pandit Birju Maharaj helped me crack the expressions. I consulted him a week before we shot the song,” Bhatt told Mid-Day. 

The film, Kalank, is a period epic set in the pre-independent India just before Partition, and is set to release on 17 April 2019. 

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