A group of Bay Area musicians and dancers have come together to spread joy during these challenging times with a Bollywood-inspired version of “The Other Side” from the Trolls World Tour. This social distancing dance features 27 dancers bringing various forms of dance to the feel-good song originally performed by Justin Timberlake and SZA.
Corte-Madera based dancer and choreographer Enakshi Vyas saw her dance life evolve as shelter-in-place started taking shape in March. “Our entire industry changed overnight. We were in a situation where what we needed the most – exercise, art, community – could not exist as they did before. But we had to find a way to keep the community together,” said Vyas. She quickly embraced technology and shifted everything online, hosting dance classes and rehearsals over video chat, and instantly found herself re-energized.
When it came time to consider making her next video, she turned to San-Francisco based Bollywood composer Vivek Agrawal with an idea: what if we choreographed a dance video to a feel-good song where everyone could record from their own homes?
Agrawal, intrigued by the thought, remembered that the new Trolls movie had a track that felt appropriate for the times called “The Other Side.” On why this was the perfect social distancing dance song, in particular, he said, “It is one of those songs that make you smile the first time you hear it. It reminds us that even when we may think things are tough for us, there’s always something to appreciate about the world. For us, even though we can’t be physically together, we can still create beautiful art together, even from our own homes.”
Agrawal recruited Aarti B to lend her vocals to the song. They recorded the entire cover over Zoom, and Vyas recruited dancers throughout the Bay Area and taught them the dance over a series of online tutorials. In less than a week, they had a video ready.
After piecing together video recordings from dancers of all different styles, the group released “The Other Side” on Instagram and Youtube on Friday, May 8th. So far, the video has already been getting good traction on social media, with a ton of praise for both the music production as well as the smooth coordination by all of the dancers. “I never would have imagined that this cover song project, that we recorded over Zoom (!!), would turn into a 27-dancer, donation-raising extravaganza! What a special moment for us all. I’m so proud to have my voice on this project.” said Aarti B after seeing the reactions on social media.
In addition to encouraging everyone to enjoy the video, the group is inviting viewers to make a donation to AACI (Asian Americans for Community Involvement) to help support essential workers providing behavioral counseling.
Everyone enjoyed coming together to make the video, and Vyas, Agrawal, and Bhatnagar have hinted that more collaborations are in the works. Check out the special social distancing dance video right here: