Oscars are constantly criticized for the performance of “Naatu Naatu”.

The 95th Oscars
Photo: Kevin Winter (Getty Images)

One week after broadcastare the 95th Academy Awards still under scrutiny from critics, particularly for their treatment (and casting) of a long awaited performance of the hit ‘Naatyou Natu” from international film sensation RRR. As reported in pieces by Variety, The L.A. Times, IndieWireand more, the performance of “Naatyou Natu” has come under fire for being included exactly zero dancers of South Asian descent, despite being from a movie by Indian filmmakers, about Indian history and heavily informed by the styles of Indian music.

It was not initially intended to be this way; Oscars producers approached the film’s stars, N.T Rama Rao Jr. and Ram Charan, to recreate their energetic dance battle from the 2022 film. But both men declined, apparently uncomfortable with the short time they would have to master the Oscars version of the dance. So instead, choreographers Tabitha and Napoleon D’uomo (aka NappyTabs) allegedly hired dancers they knew to perform the piece, included Lebanese-Canadian dancer Billy Mustapha and American dancer Jason Glover replace the RRR stars.

And while the Oscars version of the dance used to be technically more diverse than the one in the movie – which is mostly about NTR Jr. more South Asian artists on such a huge stage. “RWhere is the representation? asked choreographer Joya Kazi in an Instagram post that preceded the performance (but no news of the casting). Meanwhile, dancer Achinta S. McDaniel didn’t mince words, tellingly VarietySome people say, “Just be happy with what we’ve got,” and that’s part of it [the problem] – this idea of ​​just accepting the leftovers thrown at you. Be happy that an Indian song has been nominated [and won]. Don’t be upset about the overwhelming racism that emerged in the performance.” Several critics also drew contrasts between the performance of “Naatu Naatu” and the performance of “Jai Ho” Slumdog Millionaire at the 2009 Oscars, which, according to a media studies professor Shilpa Dave featured Indian singers and it was a multiracial group of dancers and musicians.”

So far, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences has not issued an official statement in response to the criticism.

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