Director Sooni Taraporevala says her film "Yeh Ballet" reflects her belief of co-existence and religious harmony in a subtle manner.
The film is set in Mumbai, and the director says the location is itself a character in the film. "Real-location shooting is a challenge because this is where we handle not only actors but locals of that area while shooting. But from the beginning of my career, I really learnt the art of managing people, because in all the films I have worked with -- be it Mira (Nair)''s ''Salaam Bombay'' or ''Mississippi Masala'', or ''Such A Long Journey'' (which she screenplayed), or my directorial ''Little Zizou'' -- real location add up to the scenes. I cannot express in words but I think it is the vibe of the place that a storyteller and a performer can immerse into, to create something magical," Sooni told IANS.
Her new film revolves around two characters, Asif and Nishu, who are trained under a Jewish expert dancer Saul Aaron. This describes the religious harmony that is the essence of the city of Mumbai. "Bandra Worli Sealink and the Koliwada area is the very essence of co-existence. Without even having in-your-face references or dialogues, one can see there is a temple, a few steps away from it is a little shrine to Christ and if you walk a little further, there is a Masjid. This is real, in the location, anyone can visit and see this. This helped me to convey (my feelings). So, co-existence and religious harmony are very much there in a subtle way," she said.
"If I really want to show that in my film, I am bound to do so subtly", she added.
She gives credit to production designer Shailja Sharma who created the dance studio on set. "We did not go to any dance studio for the shooting of those studio sequences. She built it with her team. That was perfect, too," mentioned the filmmaker.
Music and dance played crucial in the narrative because it is a musical film.
Sooni said: "I was very closely working with Ankur Tiwari and Kausar Munir, who wrote the songs, and I think it is the contribution of each artiste that has created the magic."