From cabaret to belly dance, Richa Chadha has come a long way

Learning the ropes of the art for her upcoming Shakeela biopic, Richa Chadha heads to Kazakhstan to learn an advanced form of dance

Cabaret (2016) actor Richa Chadha has picked up a new hobby. An essential belly dance track in her upcoming film, Shakeela, introduced her to a form she didn’t know she’d begin to harbour a keen interest in. Having learnt the art for a song in the biopic of the adult star sensation, Chadha has now decided to continue her education in the art.

Come third week of May and she will jet off to Kazakhstan to learn a tribal art form of belly dance. “I came across this form while researching for Shakeela. The more I read, the more fascinated I became,” she says. Interestingly, the sequence includes a blend of Asian and Middle Eastern belly dance forms. “A group of gypsy dancers had travelled to the Eastern coast of India, and [created a blend] of Odissi and Kalbelia forms with it.”

Even as she awaits her first workshop, Chadha says she is game for signing up for more. “As an actor, it’s necessary to keep learning, and to remind yourself to be humble, and start from scratch. It is enjoyable to be a student again. I also look at it as a form of fitness. Stomach isolation workouts like these strengthen the core muscle. It requires focus. Belly dancing is about one making that one right twitch, which is why the focus isn’t on facial expressions. It’s meditative and mystical.” Shakeela will see the actor perform the art for the first time on screen.

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