Would the signature lines of Baba Ramdev be made more memorable when set to music and incorporated into a hip hop choreography piece? Could an aggressive art form like hip hop truly pay tribute to a man whose life work is to heal the world through yoga and ayurveda?
Dancer-choreographer Shraey Khanna set out to prove just that! Working with his new dance team, Invincible, he created a piece that showcased different hip hop styles such as animation, popping and locking. Of course a tribute piece for Baba Ramdev would not be complete without traditional yoga, and so the dance piece also featured poses such as the Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) and the Padmasana (Lotus Pose). However, the crowning touch was the use of recordings of Baba Ramdev’s voice all throughout the number. This let the yoga guru’s sayings color the choreography piece and kept it light-hearted and informative.
Even more than his words, it was the use of Baba Ramdev’s signature humor that proved this dance number to be a proper tribute. The dancers incorporated comical little movements like ear pinching and goofy grins to reflect some of the yoga guru’s sense of humor. More importantly, Baba Ramdev’s trademarked laugh is heard at several points throughout the piece, lip-synced by the dancers to tell the story of the tribute piece.
Baba Ramdev is known as one of the yoga greats, whose yoga camps created a mass movement in India and around the world. In 2006, he helped established Patanjali Yogpeeth, one of the largest yoga institutes in the world. In that year, he also established Patanjali Ayurved, a company whose goal is to validate traditional Ayurveda against modern medical and scientific standards. He has also broadened his focus to include politics by establishing the Bharat Swabhiman.
Schraey Khanna was a choreographer and former member of MJ5, the dance group which won reality show India’s Dancing Superstars in 2013. He has also worked as a choreographer for the films Any Body Can Dance and Any Body Can Dance 2. In 2015, he established his own dance company Dance with Schraey, but he still performs with his dance group Invincible.