Vienna - Bollywood crazyness!

Somewhere in June 2012 I was contacted by New Move - an Austrian company that offers online workout videos of all sorts. They asked me to participate as an instructor for Bollywood style workout videos.
Of course I agreed! Actually I had once planned to produce a third instructional DVD in which I would teach step combinations instead of full choreographies. I even already had an Excel file prepared :-)
So now all I had to do was to put it all together in a way so I could present 4 combination segments in 30 minutes.

There was a long exchange of e-mails, also regarding the music - they have their own guy who mixes together the songs for all the workouts. I made suggestions and he incorporated them into his own ideas.

Of course I wasn't going to be alone in the video - there would also be 4 background dancers. I chose one who is a private student and I trained with her. But the also wanted some local girls so they didn't have to fly in a whole group.

So 2 weeks before the actual video shoot I flew to Vienna just for a Sunday where a whole bunch of dancers had gathered for a casting. I did a first round with them, teaching them the first combination. They were watched by some of New Move's collaborators and together we chose 3 dancers who would actually be in the video.
The rest of the afternoon was spent teaching them all of the short routines.

We had the actual video shoot on a Friday - they were filming a batch of videos during the entire week but I had made sure that I could actually profit a bit more of my flight to Vienna. If I was already going there (and the flight was paid for!) I wanted to stay Saturday/Sunday as well.
I had contacted Alexandra, a tango dancer who I had met in Istanbul once, asking her for good places to dance - and she offered me right away to stay at her place!

I got up VERY early in the morning and picked up Sarah Joy, my student, who fortunately lives very close to me. Since it was so early and other expenses had been taken care of, I allowed myself the luxury of driving to the airport and parking my car there for the 3 days.

When we arrived in Vienna we first had to wait a while for our pick up, so we sat in a café and Sarah taught me how to use emoticons on the iPhone. Ah those young people, they know it all!

The driver finally arrived and took us to the studio - which turned out to be somewhere outside Vienna, quite a long drive from the airport. Once we were there we did some preparations but we still had a lot of time, so we just threw ourselves on some of the couches and took a nap.

Towards noon the other dancers arrived and we went through all the routines again. Then we had our hair and make-up done and finally went into the big hall for the filming.
There were going to be no cuts. I had to do the entire thing of 30 minutes in one go! This and about 12 people of the production team watching and working on the recording... No pressure at all!
Of course I messed up the first two takes within the first few minutes - but then it went quite smoothly.
And I finished the cool down section exactly on the last second of the music. Success!

By the way, I was really impressed with the professional level of this production. This is was our big dance space and background:

I don't really care for the name "Bollyrobics" but hey, it's them who have to sell it, so I am not complaining.

After a short break we recorded the second half hour. Same thing, I needed 3 tries to get it right - and I had all the moves written on a big board so I could take a peak on it should I have a black out. 

Again it went really well except some minor bloopers. But the New Move people didn't mind, they say it looks more natural that way. Also they had several camera angles, so they could cut to a close up if somebody completely messed up.

Me and my lovely background dancers - that's Sarah Joy on the far left.

We were the very last shoot for this week, so when we were done everybody started packing up. The driver took us back to Vienna. He dropped me at a place from which I could reach Alexandra's home easily by public transport while Sarah went back to the airport to fly home.

I was totally exhausted, as you might suspect - physically and mentally. So I welcomed a quiet night in, eating a home-cooked dinner with Alexandra and her boyfriend. 

It took a little while for post-production, but then the videos appeared on the New Move website. I am really happy with the results, I think they look great!

Have a look: Bollyrobics Part 1 / Bollyrobics Part 2