Medical students Naveen K Razak and Janaki Omkumar hit the limelight with their 30-second Instagram video of them burning the dance floor to ‘Rasputin’
‘Rasputin’, the Boney M. hit from 1978, has been revived thanks to a Tik Tok challenge that has seen people from different walks of life rocking to the beats of this golden oldie.
The number that celebrates Grigori Rasputin, infamous in Czarist Russia for his mysterious and sinister proximity to Czar Nicholas II, had been a huge hit in the late Seventies and early Eighties; in January and February 2021, ‘Rasputin’ became popular and generated millions of videos of people matching steps with the evocative beats.
When dancers Naveen K Razak and Janaki Omkumar, students of Thrissur Medical College, Kerala, decided to step it up for the song, they never thought the video would go viral within hours. A 30-second video of the duo burning the floor with their nimble feet and nifty moves has taken Instagram (@naveen_k_razak) and Twitter by storm. ‘Take more chances. Dance more dances’ posted Naveen on his Instagram handle along with their dance.
“Both of us are members of Vikings, a dance group in our college that is well known in Thrissur for our performances. Before COVID-19, we used to participate in competitions conducted by colleges. During lockdown we had performed some split screen dance performances,” says Naveen, a final year student from Mananthavadi, Wayanad. Naveen says it was his seniors who honed his dance moves after he joined the college. Thiruvananthapuram girl Janaki Omkumar, a third year student of the college, has learnt dance for eight years.
Both of them point out that they had no clue about the Tik Tok Just Dance challenge that had made the song a rage among dance afficionados. They had chanced upon a 15-second video of Vanesa Seco, a well-known choreographer, burn the floor with the dance and they decided to do a 30-second video on the same song.
“One day, after classes, when we were still in our scrubs, we practised for about two hours and performed the song. The first few steps were what Vanesa had done in the video. The rest was choreographed by us. It was recorded by Naveen’s classmate Musthak Ali K,” says Janaki.
While their batchmates are naturally thrilled about the instant fame of their friends, Naveen’s and Janaki’s parents too are pleasantly surprised by the popularity of the video. “I posted the video in our family WhatsApp group and then my parents, Razak K and Dishad Razak, began getting it from other groups. Apparently the video was shared on Twitter, and from there it went on to WhatsApp and was shared by thousands,” says Naveen.
Janaki says that her parents Dr RV Omkumar and Dr Maya Devi were pleasantly surprised by the popularity of the video that has garnered 1,86, 633 views and counting. What next? “Exams are around the corner, house surgency…. and so on,” says Naveen.