Over 100 hook steps tried before Naatu Naatu moves were finalised

Some 100 variations of the hook steps, two months of rehearsals and 20 days of shooting… that’s what went into creating the perfectly synthesised moves in the global hit “Naatu Naatu” from the film RRR, says choreographer Prem Rakshith. The track, filmed on the movie’s leading stars Jr NTR and Ram Charan, won the ‘best original song-motion picture’ award at the 80th Golden Globe Awards this week, beating competition from stars such as Rihanna, Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga. Director S S Rajamouli’s brief for Naatu Naatu was simple: synchronisation between the two leading men. “For the song, Rajamouli sir said Jr NTR is like a tiger and Charan sir is like a cheetah so capture that essence in the song and at the same time make sure that they both dance together as that is the most important part of the story,” a jubilant Rakshit told PTI. As audiences across the world ape the energetic steps from the foot-tapping number, the choreographer, who primarily works in Telugu movies, said finding the right steps wasn’t easy. “He (Rajamouli) said the concentration had to be on the heroes, their bonding, their energy. When they are together, the focus is not on the background dancers or the attention would have been divided,” said Rakshith. “It took us days for the song to be shot against the backdrop of the Mariinskyi Palace in Kyiv,” Rakshit said. The Palace is the official ceremonial residence of the president in the now war-torn Ukraine. The song was shot for more than 20 days after rehearsing and perfecting the steps for two months, he said.