I'm listening to the Jab Tak Hai Jaan soundtrack today by A.R. Rahman with lyrics by Gulzar.
This is Yash Chopra's last film and it reflects the heart and soul of a man who understood the strengths and weaknesses we embrace as part of our human nature. It also offers a fresh take on the "Bollywood style."
While the cast is outstanding and the storyline engaging, the strength of the film can also be found in its alluring soundtrack. The songs and item numbers feature a wide diversity of musical styles and performances.
One of the standouts of the film and soundtrack is the instrumental "Ishq Dance." The word "ishq" means "love" and is most often used to refer to romantic love in its extreme passionate form. With only drumbeats and percussive voices to accompany the dancers, the "Ishq Dance" also seems to refer to love in its most primal form.
The whole "Ishq" song is in two parts. The sequence begins with the "Ishq Dance" instrumental prelude which draws Meera Thappar (Katrina Kaif) into the center of the group dance circle. From the get-go, she presents a different dance style than the other dancers we've seen so far. She is all arms and legs - an alluring, tribal femme fatale who still manages to retain a level of innocence in her dancing style that makes her more charming than dangerous.
After several partners with different dance styles share the floor with Meera, Samar Anand (Shah Rukh Khan, SRK) enters. He teases her a bit by initially dancing with the hat she borrowed from a previous dance partner. But soon the two are dancing together sharing eye contact throughout the dance that is standard SRK & partner fare.
The full song sequence - "Ishq Shava" - moves the dancers to a barge on the River Thames with the Tower Bridge in the background. The tribal beat continues but now with a melodic voice (sung by Raghav Mathur and Shilpa Rao).
"The groove was so strong that I wanted to be very moved and very groovy," choreographer Vaibhavi Merchant explains. "And Shah Rukh really enjoys his dance a lot more when he sings - and when he sings a song then we all stop everything and just watch him sing that song."
But what makes this music and dance particularly enjoyable is that it doesn't seem choreographed. While we know the steps were laid out beforehand, they seem driven more by the music and the atmosphere. With the background of other dancers, Samar and Meera appear to be truly responding to each other, trying new steps and exploring the nature of their partnership. This gives the dance even more of that raw quality of newly discovered passion.
"It's a song that you feel like wanting to dance to," says Shah Rukh Khan. "It's the dancing number of the film. ... It is a very interesting song, a very, very nice song. I think it has the lilting feel of romance but it also has the beat."
Here is the dance sequence from the film. You may also want to watch the video on the making of the song.
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