One in a million opportunity!
Knowing her as a professor of anthropology, she is a huge fan of the King of Pop, and she had never envisioned that she would meet him, and perform a dance duet with him in one of his music videos. Indeed, a phenomenal moment!
The Odissi dancer in Michael Jackson’s iconic ‘Black or White’ short film— is Sri Lankan ?? Dr.Yamuna Sangarasivam.https://t.co/s16lmSWHSQ pic.twitter.com/zGO5XcS82B— LoveMJJAlways (@LoveMJJAlways) February 17, 2019
Along with more than 3,000 others, she joined the auditions after she heard of Michael Jackson's call for ethnic and modern dancers as she perceived it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to combine her passion for the anthropology of dance and music with her expertise in Odissi dance (classical dance tradition of Orissa, India).
Knowing that she’s been selected for MJ’s video…..to date, it was one of the best moments that happened in her life.
Her duet with Jackson was recorded live throughout a 14-hour session that required the closure of a major thoroughfare in Los Angeles. Stunt drivers sped through the foreground and background, and it was a fabulous shot that amazed the audience.
As they rehearsed for Michael Jackson's popular 1991 single "Black or White," which had a 500 million audience premiere in 27 countries, Yamuna and MJ managed to precisely match the same dance steps.
At the age of six, Yamuna started dancing, and she's been doing it ever since. She completed her piano and dance dissertation presentation while she was a student in Odisha, an eastern state in India, where she performed the sensuous, flowing, and exquisite dance called the Odissi.
Speaking about her family background, it came to the writer's suprise that her father hailed from Singapore and mother from Kuala Lumpur, respectively. Dr. Yamuna grab the chance of learning three languages and lived in Sri Lanka & North Borneo before emigrating with her family to the United States when she was 9.
You deserve a standing ovation for bringing our ancient and cultural tradition dance form to the music video of the King of Pop.
Image Credit / Source: NAZ.edu , LoveMJJAlways