“Naatu Naatu” at the Oscars: I am sure we all have danced to the tunes of the song “Naatu Naatu” from the movie RRR. The song was an absolute hit when it was released, everyone was trying to recreate the hook step of that song.
During the 95th Academy Awards ceremony when “Naatu Naatu” was awarded the Best Original song in Oscar this year, it filled us all with joy and pride.
However, one can’t overlook the fact that even though a South Asian song from Tollywood was recognized and awarded an Oscar. It lacked the appropriate representation on the international stage.
The stars Ram Charan and Jr. NTR performed the song in the movie. However, we’re not even allowed to perform the song at the Oscars. Instead, the Oscars collaborated with choreographers Napolean & Tabitha Dumo for the performance and the artists who danced were Glover who is an American, and Mustapha who is a Lebanese-Canadian dancer. Only the original vocalists were allowed to perform in the broadcast performance.
The American actor, choreographer, and EMMY member Joya Nandy Kazi vocalized a concern. She wrote on Instagram expressing disappointment over non-south Asian dancers performing on the song. She wrote, “Opportunities for South Asians have been scarce, particularly in Hollywood, due to the specialized nature of Indian dance. Desis all over the world are extremely proud of this incredible milestone for South Indian cinema.”
Naatu Naatu at the Oscars: What did EMMY member Kazi have to say?
The only dancer on the stage with some Indian connections was Lauren Gottlieb, who is an American dancer and has recently started working with Bollywood.
“I was nominated for this by my agents, and I was informed that the choreographers prefer to work with dancers they are familiar with. Valid. I understand. There are many outstanding South Asian dancers and choreographers available, so I don’t have to book everything under the sun. There are many outstanding South Asian dancers and choreographers available, so I don’t have to book everything under the sun.“
He added on “Naatu Naatu” at the Oscars, “Very curious as to why there aren’t any members of the culture present in these rehearsal films. Will there even be a single South Asian dancer on that stage? Why aren’t there more brown bodies in that cast? Don’t get me wrong, I currently know exactly as much as you do, and there may be South Asian dancers of whom I am unaware. Yet, respectfully speaking, where is the representative Asian?”
In conclusion, what is noteworthy is that even though Oscars are being given to non-American film fraternities. When it comes to broadcast performance Oscars are still inclined towards hiring artists from American roots only.
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