Oscars 2023: ‘Naatu Naatu’ performance receives standing ovation

Oscars 2023: ‘Naatu Naatu’ performance receives standing ovation

The electrifying performance of the Telugu track Naatu Naatu from SS Rajamouli’s RRR, sung by Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava at the Academy Awards stage brought the Dolby Theatre to life with dancers of all ethnicities acing the hook step of the international music sensation.

The performance, which received a standing ovation, was introduced by Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone, who had to pause at least thrice in between owing to the loud cheers from the A-list audience. Padukone, dressed in a custom Louis Vuitton black gown and a statement Cartier neckpiece, said the Telugu chartbuster – composed by MM Keeravaani and penned by Chandrabose – illustrates the films “anti-colonial themes” and is “also a total banger”.

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“It plays during an pivotal scene in RRR, a movie about the friendship between real-life Indian revolutionaries – Alluri Sitarama Raju and Komaram Bheem. In addition to being sung in Telugu and illustrating the films anti-colonial themes, it’s also a total banger,” the Pathaan star said.

Naatu Naatu, also celebrates the inclusive spirit of dance and bonhomie and features Ram Charan and Jr NTR matching steps to its catchy rhythm. The title of the track translates to bucolic in Telugu. It demonstrates the spirit of fun in country music in its over 4.35 minutes of runtime.

Padukone also raved about the song’s popularity on social media highlighting that it is the “first song from an Indian production to be nominated for an Oscar”. “Do you know Naatu because if you don’t, you’re about to. From the film RRR, this is Naatu Naatu,” Padukone added, introducing the performance.

For the over two-minute-long act, the organisers recreated the set of the song which was originally shot in the lawns of the Presidential Palace of Kyiv, Ukraine. The two male dancers – who were dressed as Ram Charan’s Ram and Jr NTR’s Bheem – were lip syncing the song. American dancer Lauren Gottlieb, who has worked extensively in the Indian film industry, was also part of the dance troupe.

REPLUG |It took 18 months to finish Naatu Naatu, says singer Rahul Sipligunj

Padukone joined the likes of Emily Blunt, Samuel L Jackson, Glenn Close, Dwayne Johnson, Michael B Jordan, Janelle Monae, Zoe Saldana, Jennifer Connelly, Riz Ahmed and Melissa McCarthy among others as presenters for the awards gala.

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