Recently, the ‘Parudeesa’ video song from the upcoming Mammootty starrer Bheeshma Parvam graced our screens. Sung by Sreenath Bhasi, we saw Soubin and SB quirkily dancing to the groovy beats of the song. Not only did the peppy number hype us up, but the dance moves incorporated by the actors and background dancers gave it a whole different vibe. Sumesh and Jishnu, the co-founders of Myself And My Moves, a prominent dance community in Kerala, are the choreographers of the Parudeesa song.
We sat down with Sumesh to speak about his team’s collaboration with Amal Neerad.
How it all began
Amal Neerad was impressed by one of Myself And My Moves’ dance videos, Happy New Year, which went viral on YouTube. That was when the team received a call.
Sumesh shared, “We got a call directly from Amal Neerad’s production house about this project. Amal originally thought that we were based out of Chennai, but when he got to know that we were Malayalis, he didn’t twice before taking us on board.” The team originally thought that they received a fake call and couldn’t believe it. But, they decided to give it a chance and head over to the shooting location.
He added, “We went to Fort Kochi (location) and were briefed about the song. When we heard that Sushin Shyam composed the song, we were super excited. Of course, we were equally happy that we would be choreographing SB and Soubin. That day is still a daze to us. To be honest, we were in shock and felt like it was all a dream. We have all grown up watching Amal Neerad’s movies, BigB being the iconic one. So you can only imagine what was going through our minds when we were with him, having a conversation about working for him. We spoke to Soubin, SB, Srinda and even saw Mammukka. What a day it was!”
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“They knew a few of our moves from our previous dance videos”
Sumesh commented, “When Jishnu and I first showed our choreography, Amal approved it then and there. The best part was that Amal studied our community, checked out all our videos, and even had amazing conversations with SB and Soubin about us. What was surprising is that they highlighted our previous works. We had danced to Chandanamani, which they liked. They even pointed out a few steps that caught their attention. It was nice to know that they took the effort to research about us, like us for our work and not based on someone’s recommendation.”
Sumesh shared that the team had a wonderful time working with SB and Soubin. He said, “It was particularly easy to work with them because both of them love to dance. They assisted us too and it was like a collaboration. The song itself was a celebration and we all had fun celebrating it. Amal, SB, and Soubin were specific about doing rehearsals so we had four days to rehearse. Generally speaking, rehearsals don’t usually happen in Mollywood. Directors don’t give importance to it as they prefer on-the-spot tryouts. But Amal Neerad was particular that we perfect the moves by rehearsing for 4-5 days at least. He wanted us to practice and perfect the moves. It is because of this encouraging attitude that motivated us. We respect that.”
The 80s style of dancing
The team at Myself And My Moves had to ensure that new-gen moves weren’t incorporated. The song is set in the late 80s, and therefore, they had to bring in that cultural relevance in their choreography. They sought inspiration from Micheal Jackson’s moves and the party moves that were prominent in the late 80s.
What made a big impact for them was that their entire crew were involved throughout the process. Their students, as well as, dancers who had attended their workshops were a part of the crew. It was important that their community, whom they proudly call the MMM family, made an impression while uplifting the song in the right direction.
Sumesh pointed out, “The entire crew had created a certain vibe while shooting. In the middle of the shoot, when we would all take a break, the team would just casually break into a dance and have dance cyphers. It was this energetic atmosphere that created a funky environment in the set.”
More About Myself And My Moves
This is the first official movie the team at Myself And My Moves are part of. They are a dance community based out of Thrissur, trying to spread authentic dance education since 2016. One of the reasons Jishnu and Sumesh built this community was to provide access to aspiring dancers to learn Western styles of dancing. He shared, “I had travelled across India to learn dance. I was keen to learn. During this journey, I realised that Kerala didn’t have much exposure to an international spectrum of dances styles. That’s when Jishnu and I started Myself And My Moves.” Over time, they became the hub of all dance-related events, including hosting dance battles, workshops, and sessions. They continue to do so.
It is a known fact that dancing isn’t given as much importance in Mollywood as it should. Earlier, they were some really good choreography works, but it is slowly dying. “Generally, dancers don’t get much support. And even if they do, you rarely see their names popping up in the credits. We’re slowly trying to change that attitude. It’s great to see discussions about it happening. The comments under many of our videos speak of this,” he added. Sumesh ended the conversation with a hopeful wish that the dancing community in Kerala grows and receives enough accreditation to make it big.