Ranju Varghese is a well-known Choreographer in Bollywood and has assisted Bosco & Caesar as a professional Jazz & Ballet Dancer. After 10 years of working as an assistant choreographer, Ranju decided to pursue as a Song Director & Choreographer in the year 2012.
In just the beginning of his career, he has had an opportunity to work with all the veteran & budding actors of Bollywood, The Khans, Ajay Devgn, Akshay Kumar & actresses like Katrina, Priyanka, Deepika, Bipasha to veterans like Amitji, Late Sridevi, Madhuri Dixit and Kajol.
UrbanAsian got a chance to interview Ranju Varghese where he spoke about his love for dance and how fun it was choreographing Madhuri Dixit, Anil Kapoor.
Read it out here:
- What got you interested in choreographing?
Dance. It was the only thing I could call as my 1st love. Nothing else could be a stronger reason than that.
- How was it choreographing for our Dhak Dhak girl, Madhuri Dixit in Total Dhamaal?
I still can’t believe I got to choreograph for someone I have loved and grown looking up to. Madhuri ma’am dancing to my steps is already an award won. Nothing could be better. About her… She was extremely warm and welcoming at my 1st meeting with her. I was expecting her to give suggestions and ideas in choreography but she amazingly agreed to every step that I gave her. In spite of a completely new genre of dance, she picked up and performed as effortlessly as water even with minimum days of rehearsals. As she danced to my moves on the set she just sparkled her magic on the floor. It was magical to witness that moment for me and for every Madhuri fan present in the studio that day.
- Anil Kapoor, who is known for his massive energy, how was it choreographing him?
I and my team used to be very excited expecting him at the rehearsal hall. He is extremely sincere with his rehearsals and practiced in full force. Though he did the same step as my team, his style just took the dance to a different level. He has a fire within him. He just lightens up the floor by his presence.
- In your entire career, which actor was it the most difficult to choreograph for?
Honestly, no one is ever difficult to choreograph for. You just have to imagine yourself as the person you want to choreograph. And you will exactly know what step would look great on a particular person considering their personality and image. I believe every individual has their own unique style. You just need to discover it as a choreographer and follow the direction. If the actor is comfortable and convinced with your choreography, they would never be difficult.
- In your entire career, which actor was it the easiest to choreograph for?
Hmm. I won’t say easier is the word, but someone whom I could choreograph without any boundaries was Madhuri ma’am, Kajol ma’am, Riteish Deshmukh and Allu Arjun.
- Is there a difference in choreographing songs with a big cast?
Massive one. In a scenario with so many stars featuring in a song of not more than 3 minutes, prep is really important. I had to be sure that each and everyone had their due and equal screen time in the song. I also had to breakdown the shooting schedule in a way that we finish the shoot on the given time without wasting the time of any of the actors.. combination shots are d most stressful cause one of the 8 is bound to do some small error forcing us to retake. This could get a little taxing on all. Also, the choreography has to be something that everyone should be able to pull off with their individual styles. It’s tough but it’s challenging and hence more fun.
- Which dance style is your fav?
Nothing I could call my favorite because I just love to dance and to try all styles from Indian to western, from folk to classical. But if you would like me to mention one, it would be hip-hop.
- You have been an assistant of Bosco & Caesar. What all did you get to learn from them?
I have spent 10 years of my carrier with them. They have been my 1st family and my gurus in Bollywood. I have learned enormously from them. May it be, style, technicality, patience, work ethics, or may it be friendship, commitment, dedication, passion. Owe it all to them. I would not have been here today if it wasn’t for them.
- How do you keep coming up with new steps all the time?
Well, it’s just infinite permutation combination of movements of multiple muscles in our body combined with some effort put in by the brain. On a serious note.. it’s the music that inspires every dancer to discover something new within them. Every song creates its own step. We just need to think.
- What are your future projects?
I’m eagerly waiting for them to release too. Taanaji: The Unsung Warrior, Body, Bypass Road, Blank and a few more lined up.