Nora Fatehi on acing belly dance: I was my own teacher
Mohar Basu (MID-DAY; July 12, 2018)

Her Arabic recreation of the celebrated track from Sirf Tum (1999), Dilbar, winning accolades, Nora Fatehi reveals that she enhanced her craft by turning tutor for herself. “Whatever I’ve learnt as a belly dancer is owing to the videos I’ve watched and constantly teaching myself,” says Fatehi, who has put her skills on display since she made her industry debut with Bigg Boss in 2015.

For the track rendered for John Abraham starrer Satyameva Jayate, Fatehi says she practised the dance sequence for four hours everyday over a five-day schedule. But it was getting the background dancers to ace their act that required attention, she says. “It was very important for the background dancers to match steps [with me] and make sure they looked like they were performing belly dance. We worked on it together with the girls for many days until they got it [right].”

Having previously stated that it was “unfair” to compare her to Sushmita Sen, who grooved to the original track, Fatehi adds that despite it being a recreation, she was never told to ape Sen. “We weren’t trying to make it look like Sushmita [did]. We knew we were giving a different take to the song. Recreations can be difficult because people always feel the need to compare the old with the new. Inevitably, they fail to enjoy the new version for what it is. As an artiste [working on a recreation], one is put under immense pressure to be liked by viewers whilst filling big shoes. It can be a tricky situation.”