While Bollywood films are sometimes criticized for rehashing old storylines, there are films that work hard to be original and better than the last. This is particularly true for recent films developed as sequels.
In the Yash Raj series which began with Dhoom (2004), we are introduced to the theme through the track "Dhoom Machale". The music, composed by Pritam, contributed to the success of the film. This introduced us to ACP Jai Dixit (Abhishek Bachchan) and Ali Akbar Fateh Khan (Uday Chopra).
In Dhoom 2, Pritam took the Dhoom title track and updated it. With the addition of Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai - two of Bollywood's best actor-dancers - the music and dance numbers were taken to a higher performance level. These two stars acted almost as "Dhoom" theme bookends - with Hrithik's unique dance style set loose in the opening credits number "Dhoom Again" and Aishwarya's awesome moves bringing the story to a close in the end titles.
In Dhoom 3 (2013), the "bad guy" of the film was Aamir Khan - who can dance, but is known more for his strong acting skills. However, the producers of the film saw an opportunity to leverage the work ethic, enthusiasm, and dedication of this Bollywood star to create some unique item numbers. One of those was "Malang" which featured acrobatics. Another was the "Dhoom Tap".
"Dhoom Tap" is an overture of sorts, re-introducing the "Dhoom" melody accompanied by the percussion of tap dance. This style of dance isn't used extensively in Bollywood films, and it was a new style for Aamir Khan. According to Aamir:
"... when I look back at the tap sequence, I have no idea how I managed it because I'm not such a good dancer. ... This actually happened because I had said to Adi [Aditya Chopra] and Victor [Vijay Krishna Acharya] once that, you know, I really want to learn tap dance. Adi said, 'Yeah, why don't we do tap for this song. You also want to do tap.' I said, 'Listen, I'm not quite sure I'm ready for it right now. I mean, I was planning to train for it for a good two years and learn it and then perform it.' So he said, 'Let's give it a shot. If it happens it happens. If it doesn't it doesn't. We'll get to know.' We got in touch with Tap Dogs, which is this amazing company in Australia in Sydney."
Dein Perry’s Tap Dogs is both a group and show. The show started in 1995 with six guys from Newcastle, a steel town north of Sydney, Australia. After experiencing a successful run in Sydney's production of 42nd Street, Dein Perry decided to create a contemporary show around the themes of his industrial experience with his Newcastle tap dancing friends. The show is an 80 minute reinvention of tap dance and the high voltage tap of this group has caught the imagination of audiences around the world. Tap Dogs is now approaching it's 20th year and has performed in over 300 cities world wide. The Tap Dogs story was immortalized in the movie Bootmen (2000), directed by Dein Perry and inspired by his experiences.
Choreographing the Dhoom 3 "Dhoom Tap", Dein Perry brought the raw pulsating energy of his style of tap dance to the Bollywood screen.
The challenge put before Aamir Khan was daunting as he would go beyond the basic heel-toe, toe-heel tap dancing style to do some fairly sophisticated synchopated rhythms. To top it off, he would be performing with Tap Dogs team members who had more than 15 years experience performing this dance style.
Aamir Khan spent over a month learning and practicing the skills and techniques he would use for the "Dhoom Tap". Directory of choreography Vaibhavi Merchant was amazed at how well Aamir Khan was able to perform:
"He was so up for the challenge and he was so enthusiastic and I was nervous as hell. I saw Aamir give his first shot of tap sequence and when he performed that sequence I literally had tears in my eyes because I was like, my god, this guy's a genius, only he could do something like this."
The following playlist includes the two promos for Dhoom 3 that feature segments of the "Dhoom Tap"; two behind the scenes videos focusing on what it took to bring this performance to life; and, two live performances of the Tap Dogs team: In concert and at the Opening Ceremony of the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
If you liked this, check out our other Music Monday posts.