Political satire, offbeat track or item number, Bollywood’s young choreographer Mansi Aggarwal has proved that she can handle any genre with ease
At 28, Mansi Aggarwal is arguably the youngest choreographer to hit Bollywood. Her ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ from Shanghai which has actors Emraan Hashmi and Pitobash dancing to some streetside moves, has created more news than the film itself. Making a non-dancer like Emraan dance shedding his inhibitions was not a challenge, she says.
“I like to work with raw dancers especially. You can get them to dance the way you envision.” Mansi had given her actors their brief: keep it spunky and energetic right through the song. “When I was choreographing this song, the Ganpati festival was on in Mumbai and I was inspired by the way people dance during this season! I didn’t choose any heavy steps and kept it in line with the character both were playing in the film. That’s how I like to style my dances.”
That’s confidence speaking but if destiny in the garb of Anurag Kashyap wouldn’t have come knocking twice at her doorstep, Mansi would have probably been a bureaucrat! “I was performing to a semi-classical song in Delhi on stage when Anurag spotted me and invited me over to choreograph this political satire song for his Gulal. I was running a dance institute in Delhi then,” she says.
After Gulal was considerably delayed, Mansi was rather disillusioned. She had shut shop in Delhi to pursue this new opportunity. “I was good at academics and started preparing for the IAS exams,” she says smiling, for that was not to be. Anurag came to her once more, this time with a proposal for Dev. D. The film took off and Mansi’s choreography style got an identity. “I was ecstatic as both Dev. D and Gulal released in the same year!” she says.
Mansi has never looked back. She got an offer from Dibakar Bannerjee for Shanghai which is now followed by Abhishek Kapoor’s second film after Rock On!, Kai Po Che based on Chetan Bhagat’s The 3 Mistakes Of My Life. “Kai Po Che has no choreographed sequences. There are three songs and each of them is like a montage. It is wonderful choreographing such pieces,” she says.
But it’s not just political satires or offbeat tracks that the girl is good at. She has styled an item number for an Indie film Wah Rasgulla and a romantic song for upcoming film Kaha Na Kisi Se too. Her favourite choreographed pieces in Bollywood are Lakshya’s ‘Main Aisa Kyun Hoon’ (featuring Hrithik Roshan by Prabhudeva), Devdas’ ‘Dola Re Dola’ (featuring Aishwarya Rai and Madhuri Dixit by Saroj Khan), Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar’s ‘Pehla Nasha’ (featuring Aamir Khan by Farah Khan) and all songs of Band Baaja Baaraat (featuring Anushka Sharma and Ranveer Singh by Vaibhavi Merchant). Asked if she would like to make any particular actor dance to her tunes, she says, “I can make anybody dance!”