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Shakira in an item number

By: Upala KBR, Mid-Day

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Director Farah Khan has just returned from New York after choreographing pop singer Shakira's sexy moves at the MTV Video Music Awards.

But now, Farah wants more. The choreographer-turned-director wants Shakira to do an item number in her next film, Om Shanti Om, starring Shah Rukh Khan.


Farah Khan is all praise for the MTV show. "The production is awesome. It must have cost at least 5 million dollars and the production values and precision you see is perfect. One gets to learn a lot." Any interesting anecdotes?

"Oh yes! I behaved like a star-struck fan when I saw Justin Timberlake rehearsing the day before, but was too shy to ask him for an autograph! We were screaming and shouting when he was performing!" Farah says working with Shakira was an amazing experience.

"She is all of 4 feet 11 inches tall, very sweet, humble and down-to-earth. We had only three hours to rehearse as Shakira was in Toronto. She wanted me to come there but I couldn't, so we sent her a rough copy after auditioning eight boys and eight girls in New York. Then she got back saying she wanted only female dancers, so we made some last minute changes and choreographed the whole thing again.

Finally, when I met her during rehearsals, she told me that she couldn't believe I had done such work in just two days! I couldn't tell her that in Mumbai we have to change everything in four hours," smiles Farah, in her trademark wry humour.

Chhaiya in India

Talking about the dance steps for Shakira Farah says, "Shakira is a fast learner.

The steps were not easy as she was singing and dancing. For our shows, one has to just lip sync to the songs and dance the jhatkas and matkas, but Shakira had to sing along too. So I gave her easy steps to do as singers run out of breath while performing rigourous dance numbers."

We've heard that Shakira has promised to do a song for Farah in her next film, Om Shanti Om.

"It's too early to say anything, but yes, I have spoken to Shakira about doing an item number for my next film and she might do it.

She's not seen any Hindi films but she knows about Shah Rukh Khan. She has seen Chhaiya Chhaiya and the qawwali number from Main Hoon Naa. She loved the numbers. I gave Shakira the DVD of Main Hoon Naa. She will be coming to India for a rock concert in March next year."

Retail therapy

What else did she do in New York besides choreographing for Shakira? "I shopped a lot, chilled out with Karan (Johar) and watched films." What did she buy? "I bought lots of clothes for Shirish, his favorite perfume, Ralph Lauren Silver, and some stuff for my office people. I also bought some household stuff like candle stands, table mats and cutting boards for the kitchen of my new home in Andheri."

About Om Shanti Om

Om Shanti Om is a love story by Farah Khan and screenplay by Shirish (Kunder) and Mushtaq Sheikh. It stars Shah Rukh Khan, and the female lead and villain are yet to be cast. "I should be starting the film in December this year," says Farah.

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