Mumbai, Jan 31 (IANS) Actress Shilpa Shetty, who took Odissi lessons from an Orissa-based dance guru for an India-China joint film venture, says the classical Indian dance form was tough to learn and perform.
'Odissi is complicated and among all the songs I've ever shot, this has been the most difficult,' Shilpa writes on her blog.
The actress, along with Jayaprada, had learnt Odissi from Guru Ratikant Mohapatra, son of legendary Odissi exponent late Kelucharan Mohapatra during the shoot of the film in Kerala.
'It's been a hectic week in Kerala,' Shilpa says in her post Jan 26 after having shot some dance scenes for the film tentatively titled 'The Desire'.
'This wasn't any ordinary song, it was an Odisssi dance performance,' she writes.
'The Desire' will see Shilpa sharing screen space with Chinese superstar Xia Yu, who is considered the Shah Rukh Khan of China.
Produced jointly by Sharad Hegde from Mumbai and Tracy Shiyun from China, it is being directed by R. Sarath.
'In the normal course, it's easy to rehearse a step and add your own style to it, not necessarily perfecting it, making it fun. But here I had to not only do a different dance form, I had to do it perfectly, making it look authentic and emote at the same time,' Shilpa adds.
'This indeed was a learning curve... (it) was worth all the practice once I saw how it looked on the monitor,' says the actress, who is otherwise known for her typical Bollywood-style gyrations.
Shilpa went through a week-long Odissi dance workshop under the supervision of Ratikant Mohapatra at Kollam in Kerala. According to her, the guru was a 'hard taskmaster'.
'What is really interesting is also that I got the chance to experiment with so many different looks, right from donning all the finery for the dance performances to going simple which is the actual character,' she wrote.
Mohapatra had earlier said that the training session with the actress took place Jan 14-19.
'My working experience with Shilpa Shetty was very good. As an actress and Bharatnatyam dancer she was able to understand the style and form of Odissi and its execution,' Mohapatra had told IANS in Bhubaneswar.
'Practising in the morning and evening, Shilpa had no star tantrums and she proved herself to be a committed artiste,' the guru added.
The India-China project, under the banner of C-9 Motion Pictures in association with Indish Creations, also features Anupam Kher, Sachin Khedekar, Sheetal Menon and Nakul Vaid.
'The Desire' revolves around Goutami (Shilpa), an accomplished Odissi dancer, and a talented artist Jai Leang (Yu) and follows the journey of their respective lives until they are separated and brought together again by destiny.