In a country where traditional and rigidly schooled styles such as Kathak and Bharatanatyam were the most regularly practiced, the recent influx of young choreographers has opened a lot of windows for contemporary dance styles.
Hasan Rizvi, is one of those choreographers whose dance direction for commercials and stage performances have received appreciation, however, his recent venture “Naach” has left many wondering why someone, with such an impressive portfolio, would present such a half-hearted dance video.
“Naach”, a bhangra number featuring Rizvi and a number of supporting dancers such as Breakhna Yusuf, Zarmeena Yusuf and Sohai Ali Abro, was uploaded on YouTube and aired recently on different music channels. The video got a lukewarm response because the project fails to show Rizvi’s true potential.
Firstly, catchiness is a prerequisite for a hit dance number and Rizvi’s song has anything but an addictive beat, and secondly, it seems like the composers of the song just assumed that anything with a bhangra beat will make people jump from their seats but sadly, this is not the case. These days, with songs like “Sheila Ki Jawani” and “Munni Badnaam” taking the market by storm bouncy beats, one would expect music producers to up their game and go the extra mile when bringing out a bhangra number.
Even if one ignores the average quality of the song thinking it’s coming from a choreographer and music is not his forte, the choreography and the way the whole video is shot doesn’t really make you fall in love with Rizvi’s project either. Whether it is the shots on the beach or the ones done under strobe lights, they all come across as disjointed and stylistically weak. As a dance performance, “Naach” looks more like an amateur effort by a rookie instead of a heavily promoted project of a seasoned choreographer.
Additionally, the dance steps in the video don’t bring any fresh concepts to the fore and the video can’t be termed as something groundbreaking for Pakistani dance because all it has to offer are the usual pelvic thrusts in shiny clothes. Even the dance sequences that manage to rekindle the viewer’s interest get interrupted by the occasional somersault shots inserted after almost every five seconds. The ongoing evolution in the field of dance and theatrics gives choreographers a lot of room for experimentation but sadly, Rizvi couldn’t capitalise on this at all.
Although “Naach” fails as a product, kudos to Rizvi for at least coming up with a dance routine and getting a whole set of individuals to work on a video strictly dedicated to dance as an art form. There are only a handful of people doing and teaching contemporary dance in Pakistan and ventures like “Naach” and the series of flash mobs organised by ActOne under the guidance of Joshinder Chaggar, another well-known choreographer, are encouragimg for youngsters wanting to pursue a career in dance.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 14th, 2012.