Ranveer Singh and Tota Roy Chowdhury are being praised for their gender-bending performance in Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani to the classic song Dola Re Dola. The song, originally picturised on Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Madhuri Dixit in Sanjay Leela Bhansali-directed Devdas, remains as a symbol of female bonding, unity against patriarchy and defying societal norms. It showed what would be considered blasphemy at the time – a thakurain dancing with a tawaif at a Durga Puja mandap.
Two decades later, Karan Johar used the same song, sung by a male artist this time, and got two actors to dance to it in Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani. Again picturised in a Durga Puja setup, the sequence was meant to demolish gender rules once more – that men can also dance to classical music and iconic songs traditionally associated with women.
Tota’s character Chandan Chatterjee is a kathak dancer who is laughed at and ridiculed for his performance at a Delhi wedding. Later, Ranveer`s Rocky, decides to learn Kathak from him and the two of them perform together to Dola Re Dola right in the film.
While the sequence was a euphoric moment for gender equality and smashing stigma, this is not the first time men have been seen dancing to the iconic song. Social media influencer Jainil Mehta, famous for dancing in skirts, had performed this song with another male influencer in New York City. Jainil teamed up with dancer Alex Wong for the shoot. In a Reel on Jainil`s Instagram account, the two of them are seen wearing beautiful traditional ghagras and dancing bare feet in the streets of New York City, performing the iconic steps by Aishwarya and Madhuri.
Take a look:
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Hailing from Mumbai, Jainil went viral for dancing in skirts. Jainil seeks to normalise men dancing in women`s garb with his videos. His timeline is full of videos of the dancer performing in beautiful ghagras and skirts
The Dola Re Dola sequence in Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani is definitely one of the pivotal moments in the film. However, neither the song nor the video have been released by the filmmakers.