Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The making & launch of Shakti Mohan Dance Calendar

I don't know whether I can rightfully say that it's India's first Dance Calendar but then surely it's a unique effort by an artist so young. And it was every bit fun for me to create something so different. It's not every day that I get to shoot someone who looks stunning n dances so beautifully.


I always believed poetry was written but then I have seen poetry dance. That is what I felt when I saw Shakti dance at the launch event n I told the same to the anchor when she asked me to speak about my experience with her.
How it all started ! I have known Mukti for a while. She is a model and Shakti’s sister. She always told me how fabulous a dancer Shakti was and I must someday shoot pictures with her. Time just went by -Shakti meanwhile won Dance India Dance- a dance based reality show on Zee TV n became a sensation amongst the youth.
She recently met n asked if we could do a few dancing shots. I felt here was a girl who deserved a calendar with 12 pics and not just a few random shots. I already had six calendars to be shot, designed n printed in December. In spite of a crazy work schedule I suggested her to do her own calendar.
She got so super excited that I didn’t have the heart to tell her, its almost impossible to do twelve different pics in one day. Shooting body form is tricky and particularly dances since it’s all about timing and then each muscle in the body has its own communication, which needs to be lit up well and captured properly otherwise it loses its impact.
But then the idea of the calendar grew upon us all and a date was fixed. I decided to go minimalistic in terms of using props and focus totally on the body n the lighting. Even the outfits were kept mostly simple except for the two gowns with lot of flare designed by Josie to get some nice movement shots.

Shakti n her sisters had absolute faith in my work so there was no problem in getting her to do what I would want to shoot. In fact, after a while I just set her free n told her to simply feel the music n dance-all I did was capture the moments. 






 
It was almost a perfect shoot but for that one moment when she slipped on the floor n fell with a thud on the side ways-injuring her knee badly. It could have been really fatal and if something had gone wrong I wouldn’t have forgiven myself for the rest of my life. After all it’s the responsibility of a photographer to take care of his model n ensure their safety however adventurous they might be.
Luckily it was just a bad bruise n she was up and running after 3 days of bed rest.


  Once the images were shot- a date for the launch was set. But then December is a crazy month- choosing the right images, getting the right editor, designer, & printer looked too much of a task as neither one of us was free to sit n get it done-n its difficult to find people to match your vision.
I remember when Shakti sent me the first design-I almost wanted to kill the designer- he had absolutely ruined the images by putting fire n water splashes and God know what not- behind the pictures. I am forgetting the guy’s name or would have loved to mention it here. Eventually an old designer friend Abhinav (from Delhi) came to the rescue creating a simple yet classy design where the total focus was on Shakti n her movements unlike the previous designers.

You must have already viewed the video of the making of the photo shoot-it was being edited right till 30 min before the calendar was supposed to be launched!!! It was too much of work for everyone involved to meet the deadlines and pull off a successful launch in the end. I am just so impressed by the sisters’ bonding. I don’t think this shoot would have been possible at all without Mukti taking complete charge-from pre production to the post production-juggling between her own work schedule she managed to put things together and get everything sorted-not to mention her friend Karan Arora whom I saw many times, himself shooting all day n then managing to find time to do odd jobs related to the calendar launch.
The calendar was aptly named Nritya Shakti by her father n unveiled at Sky Lounge on the evening of 29th December.
The show started with Niti Mohan performing n dedicating a beautiful song to her n the evening. She has a mesmerizing voice n looked utterly gorgeous on the stage. Niti is herself extremely popular; one of the key singers in A.R. Rehman’s concerts worldwide, n was such a treat to the guests and the media.
I was pleasantly surprised to see so many people from the Dance fraternity present for the launch to bless Shakti for her singular efforts. Right from Remo d' Souza, Terence Lewis, Marzi Pestonji, Ganesh Hegde, Sandeep Soparkar and Zee TV's Dance India Dance team along with M.D. & CEO of Zee Mr. Punit Goenka - everyone was there-it surely would be encouraging for anyone.

 
Zee went out of the way to promote the calendar and its favorite artist- and its an encouraging sign that channels should finally see potential in promoting such events.

Like one journalist at the launch event asked me if DID had made her a star n I politely told him it was not the show that made her a star but her ‘performance’ in the show that made her a star. I strongly believe any show, any film or any other such thing is merely a platform for the talent to rise. And real talent in times grows far beyond such platforms. DID is doing a fantastic job in providing such vast platform to newcomers, but then so did Boogey Woogey for many years-eventually it’s up to the talent to find their own way to larger success beyond a certain point. Nevertheless I am totally impressed by the reach n popularity of DID n can see its on its way to becoming one of the top shows of the country and I hope with its current dedicated team it continues to churn out potential stars.
DID has done its bit but if Shakti's acting is as good as her dancing-I can already see a new Bollwyood star in the making.




And as far as I am concerned, I can't wait to shoot the next talented girl who walks up to me with as much talent n enthusiasm..:)
....

22 comments:

Jay said...

Its simply outstanding sir....the way u narrate it..it feels i'm witnessing it right nw..amazing shots.. (Dance - A Silent Poetry)...its just dazzling...

nikhil chugh said...

it was really sum of d awsum pics i ever seen

pravin talan said...

thanks guys...share it if u must..:)

digant said...

*Magnificent*

Unknown said...

This is an outstanding work...a work of labour of love!! Thanks to all the artistes concerned.

tarun garg said...

loved the whole narrative and photographs..i could feel the hard work that has gone in the shoot, both from photographers end and dancers as well..Loved every bit of it.... :)

Prashant Awasthi said...

As always,this time again you make as numb with your images,mindblowing series of fabulous and fantastic and full of artistic photographs.

Saandy said...

simply mindblowing picture's.....
no word to express ....

Saandy said...

simply mindblowing pictures.....
no words to express them....
One in the B/w is awesome picture with makeup...

inswinger said...

Superb Talan,

The first picture was amazing.

-Saravanan Kuppusamy
http://500dphotos.blogspot.com

Ojam said...
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Ojam said...

OMG ! I personally love Shakti to the Core, She knows it already :) and the way you have narrated this story is so touching. I agree with you, I was also a bit disappointed when the launch was promoted as DID bash, which we all know is not true at all. You have rightly put that its not DID that made her a star, its her Performances and her talent that made her DID star. She is one person right now in India, to whom a lot of girls will look upon to for everything. She has become a Trend Setter. She is the ultimate star in the making.

Ojam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
arijit nandy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mohitvijh said...

really beautiful

pravin talan said...

thanks guys....i m glad to have ur inputs...

luv_arsha said...

thanks sir for sharing the experience of the shoot shakti is indeed a perfectionist and the pics are really awesome..........i must say you are the best photographer

luv_arsha said...

thanks sir for sharing the experience of the shoot shakti is indeed a perfectionist and the pics are really awesome..........i must say you are the best photographer

Sudeep M said...

superb shots!!
I see lot of effort is put here!! its not easy....

arjun said...

super work....hv bcm fan of ur work

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Nidaa C. said...

At the risk of sounding stupid- Something I love about fashion photography is that u guys create beauty out of imperfection. No matter how beautiful the model is.