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Article Hindi

120 artistes, 173 outfits, 40-foot sets recreate the grand circus era for Ali Abbas Zafar's Bharat

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The making of the circus video captures the effort, time and detail that went into recreating the lost circus experience for the upcoming Salman Khan film.

Shriram Iyengar

The trailer of Ali Abbas Zafar's Bharat featured Salman Khan in a multitude of avatars, one of which was him as a stuntman in a circus. Titled the 'Great Russian Circus' and set in the 1960s, it forms a key element of the story that spans 70 years. In the latest making video, the struggle, details and effort that went into building this massive circus comes to life.

The importance of the circus to the story can be gathered from director Zafar's explanation when he calls it a 'collective memory'. Describing the importance of it, he says, "Somewhere it was the collective memory of what was happening back in the time, and my memory of the circus that led to my idea of Salman Khan being a stuntman in the circus."

But creating a circus was definitely not a joke. With sets rising up to 40 feet, the production designers and aerial riggers had to work round the clock in order to match the period depiction of the circus, while also adding a more modern touch.

Zafar adds, "When the circus, back in time, used to happen, it used to have artistes from all over the world. We sourced artistes, jugglers, stiltwalkers, fire-throwers, acrobats, trapeze artists from all over the world. Average of 120 artistes every day on the set."

The massive number of artistes also posed a problem to the costume designers. As Ashley Rebello says in the video, "The circus, initially, was a nightmare because how were we going to get 173 outfits done for performing artistes? There were a lot of experimental things that we would do where we would give them the outfit and then they would see if they could perform with that."

Despite everything, the scenes from the circus contribute to the popular star entry sequence for Khan. The actor plays a stuntman driving in the 'maut ka kuan' (well of death). It is also the circus that introduces the audience to Disha Patani's character in the film.

Bharat is set for release on 5 June.