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Lights, Camera, DANCE – What a Jhalak!

Seamedu students spend a truly amazing time on the sets of the popular show ‘Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa’

Imagine not blinking your eye even for a second – for eight hours straight! Who would want to, when you are fortunate enough to witness an extravaganza compered by a charismatic host and a bevy of captivating celebrity dance performers who outdo each other with every move they make. Add to that your favourite celebrity judges and a guest appearance made by a stunningly beautiful actress, and you have all the essential ingredients that make Jhalak Dikhla Jaa the crowd-puller that it is.

Seamedu students witness the magic of Jhalak Dikhla Jaa

Seamedu Students on the sets of jhalak

This was an exclusive package which students of Seamedu School of Pro-Expressionism relished to the core of their hearts during a visit to the popular reality show right in the premises of the famous Film City of Goregaon in Mumbai.

Seamedu firmly believes in teaching along with practical real-time experience, and the institute reaffirmed this belief by organizing a trip to the sets of Jhalak Dikhla Jaa, a famous dance-off between different celebrities who are partnered by choreographers.

How the day unfolded

Seamedu on Jhalak

As the bus carrying around fifty students and staff members reached the premises of the studio, they were taken towards a waiting area where lunch was served. Students observed how crew members were punctual and strictly followed a call time and had their lunch before they went for the shoot. When it was time, the group was marked using numbers and students were allowed to enter the grand air-conditioned set on the upper floor of the studio building.

Ask our students and they will tell you that it was like entering an entirely different world – a magnanimous set design adorned with a grand dance floor, all kinds of professional lighting equipment, laser beams, smoke machines, a huge digital backdrop, and giant red curtains. They studied how the entire floor of the television show was well planned, consisting of the stage area, audience seating area, crew and equipment area, judge panel, contestants’ seating area, and different entry points for the contestants to enter and perform (the highlight being the sideway-splitting panel at the center backdrop).

As the audience waited for the show, the crew began shooting the audience reactions which are a necessary part of production and were also instructed about the audience polling system. Then entered the flamboyant actor – anchor Manish Paul – to a loud and crazy cheer from the crowd as he greeted everyone on the set in his unique style. He was in total command right from the word go when he started the proceedings. The judges’ panel comprised of noted choreographer Ganesh Hegde, Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez, and glam director and celebrity judge, Karan Johar. The contestants arrived in their dance attire and were instructed by the direction crew members to sit in their designated seats, even as the audience started cheering for their favourites.

The students saw how the director of the show, along with the writer, explaining the various shots to the anchor, contestants, and camera technicians. The host was right upfront when it came to delivering lines to the camera, guided by a teleprompter and a wireless talkback system.

The audience was enthralled by the stupefying dance performances, the gags that came in between (offered by standup comedian Gaurav Gera aka Chutki and Manish Paul), a special appearance made by star actress Sonakshi Sinha promoting her upcoming film, and also the occasional hilarious audience interactions with the host.

Students just couldn’t hold themselves from taking selfies with the much-loved celebs!

One episode – A marathon effort

Seamedu Students with Manish PaulThe entire shoot took a marathon eight hours to complete the plethora of shots required to make an hour-long episode! Taking a loo break was tough as the team focused on covering all the shots that were scheduled for the day as per the pre-planned show format. The students witnessed the completely professional approach of the crew as the camera team captured the show from various angles in single takes, of course complimented by the perfect takes delivered by the host and the dance performers.

The highlight of the shoot was an effortless handheld camera operation by one of the most prolific Steadicam operators of India. This indeed indicated the amount of preparation time that goes before any kind of shoot that involves professional artists, crew members, and support staff.

With the last words, “Wrap up!” the extended shoot ended and everyone vacated the studio premises late at night. Tired but raring for more, the students were left with the grand experience they had that day.

It was indeed a combination of fun time as well as learning for Seamedu students!

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