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One step at a time...

Brinda is happy seeing stars dancing to her steps

Pic. by S. Siva Saravanan

Stepping to success: Choreographer Brinda

SHE HAS the stars of tinseldom dancing to her tunes. And, wannabe actors flock to her school to acquire that extra edge before they enter Kollywood. Meet dance master Brinda. She set the screen afire with her choreography in films such as New, Ayidha Ezhuthu and Kaakha Kaakha.

In Pollachi to shoot a dance sequence for the film Karka Kasadara, she talks to Metroplus about how exciting choreography is. "Dance is inevitable in any movie; it is like the annual exam for an artiste. Most of the time we plan dance sequences. But, sometimes, we also compose on the sets after a briefing from the director," says Brinda, who won acclaim for her role of a gangly student in Nammavar.

Brinda is comfortable working on songs woven around a story like in Kaakha Kaakha. "We innovated by introducing ramp shots, flash cuts and wide angles in the song Uyirin uyire. The song became a hit." Her favourite number in the movie is the romantic Onra renda asaigal.

"Directing a romantic song is more difficult than directing a fast one. We have to get the feel of these songs and retain the mood throughout."

Mention New, and she is thrilled. "It was a fantastic experience. Excellent music and Simran is a fabulous dancer. S. J. Suryah [its director who also made his debut as an actor] rehearsed and the result showed on the screen."

Innovation, the key

Brinda says innovation is the key to stay ahead. "People easily get bored. So you will have come out with some `out-of-the-box' idea and make it tick. Luckily, I've been able to do it," she says.

Ask her about the creative freedom of choreographers, and she says: "Most of the directors give us a free hand. In Maniratnam's Iruvar and Kannathil Muthamittal, we wanted to experiment with new concepts and he gave us the go ahead." However, sometimes, choreographers are forced to make a lot of compromises.

Asked if she would emulate fellow choreographer Farah Khan who clicked as a director with the frothy Main Hoon Naa, Brinda says: "Farah's movie is colourful and done in a commercial format. We dance masters are basically good technicians, but I have my hands full with choreography and am not eyeing direction now."

Visual delights

Brinda, who has been in the field for 17 years, has something new for everybody in her songs.

She enlivens songs with her punch and grace, turning dance numbers into visual delights. Among the current crop of actors, she rates Simran and Jyotika as excellent dancers.

How necessary is it for an actor to have basic training in dance? "Very. It helps them emote better and will mould them into better actors. Sridevi was the one who introduced the concept of merging emotions with dance movements and that's why she stands out," she explains.

K. JESHI

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