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Dholi taro -- Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

I was reading an article on Sanjay Leela Bhansali, post-Khamoshi, and thought I would really like to work with him. I thought we were on the same wavelength because we had a great passion for dance and fine arts.

[Art Director] Nitin Desai, who worked with me in London, spoke to Sanjay about me, but Sanjay did not pay much heed. My name came up again through [producer] Jhamu Sughand, who knew my father very well.

I went to their office at three in the afternoon. A story session meeting was going on. When I told Sanjay that Hiralalji was

 
  my grandfather, he was shocked. Sanjay is a great fan of my grandfather, and used to look upon his [Hiralaljiís] work for choreography of his own film songs.

Since Sanjay had not seen my work yet, he asked me to choreograph the song, Nimbuda, one of the toughest songs. When I performed it for him, he was thoroughly impressed.

In the film, I have choreographed Man mohini, Dholi tharo, Aankhon ki gustakhiyan and Albela sajan.

We started the film with Dholi taro. It took forever! It started raining in December, which made it very cold. Besides, Sanjay had never shot a song with almost 40 dancers before.

I had worked with Ash before [in Indian]. After Madhuri Dixit, Ash is the only dancer who can carry off classical as well as folk dance with grace. She can express very well. Rarely can someone dance and express well. Some people are technically fantastic but donít have expressions going for them. Ash is a balanced performer; one of the best dancers today.

Salman Khan has to put in a lot of effort. But he adds a lot of charisma into his dance. He just needs to stand there and everything is taken care of. Heís more persona-driven.

We did not have too many light moments on the sets. I was quite frustrated because my earlier films were not released. And Sanjay had a lot to prove after Khamoshi. We were a bunch of crazed lunatics.

I won a National Award for Dholi taro.

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