As India celebrates its two historic Academy Awards wins, best original song Naatu Naatu is having its moment in the sun with millions of social media users posting videos of themselves mimicking the song’s dance moves in the Telugu-language epic action blockbuster RRR . The song plays in the film when Indian movie stars Junior NTR and Ram Charan’s characters are humiliated by an Englishman for being the only Indians at a colonial party, and culminates in a dance-off that the Indians win. “What do you know about dance: tango, flamenco, swing? Can you do any of these?” challenged the Englishman. “Not salsa, not flamenco, my brother, Do you know naatu ?” say the Indian duo, dressed in Western suits and suspenders, before breaking into perfectly synchronised song and dance. Bridgerton’s celebration of ‘brown women’ delights South Asians Naatu Naatu , the first song from an Indian film to be nominated and win an Oscar, beat off stiff competition from the likes of Lady Gaga and Rihanna. Prominent Indian actress Deepika Padukone, who presented Naatu Naatu ’s performance at the award show, paid tribute to the song’s “irresistibly catchy chorus, electrifying beats and killer dance moves to match” that “have made [it] a global sensation”. “Naatu” means rustic or ethnic. Naatu Naatu ’s composer MM Keeravaani likened the song to sounds of traditional beats of folk tunes in Indian villages, calling the song “the pride of every Indian” in his acceptance speech. When the song was released on YouTube in November 2021, it trended almost immediately for its catchy beats and new hook step. Choreographer Prem Rakshit said the now-viral hook step was the result of hours of brainstorming and filtered down from over 110 moves The lively choreography in RRR , which was released in March 2022, has inspired countless Instagram reels and TikTok videos, with millions of social media users sharing their attempts to mimic the dance steps. Gurugram-based mother and Instagram influencer Akanksha Singh, who recently posted a video of her dancing to the song with her kids, appreciated that the dance was “very dynamic, intriguing and challenging all at once”. It took her and her children multiple takes before perfecting the “very happy” dance for social media, where the most challenging part was getting the “energy and coordination with my kids”. Tamil epic Ponniyin Selvan 1 leaves India, Malaysia, Singapore viewers riveted Hyderabad-based dancer and journalist Vijaya Pratap commended the song and dance scene’s “peppy music coupled with an outstanding rhythm, pithy lyrics loaded with rustic nativity and astounding choreography with unique steps”. The dance scene was shot during August 2021 for around 17 days in front of Ukraine’s Mariinskyi Palace, the official residence of the president in Kyiv. Filming involved a cast of 500 Ukrainians, a 50-piece orchestra, professional dancers from the Kyiv National Ballet and 100 Indian medical students who played the waiters in the scene. To recreate the 1920s for the scene, national award-winning production designer Sabu Cyril shopped locally in vintage markets for costumes and props to set up gazebos and floral arrangements. Following the win, many Indian netizens and leaders took to Twitter to share congratulatory messages, including Andhra Pradesh state opposition leader N Chandrababu Naidu who tweeted: “This is the probably the finest moment of Indian cinema and Telegu people achieving it is even more special.” The Oscar triumph also follows the global success of RRR (short for “Rise, Roar, Revolt”), which became the only Indian film in history to trend number one in the non-English films category for two weeks in a row on Netflix. RRR features two of India’s biggest stars Junior NTR and Ram Charan, and tells the story of two Indian revolutionaries fighting British colonial rule in India. It has been dubbed in other Indian languages, and has made history at the box office where it raked in 10 billion rupees (US$127 million) in ticket sales, including US$14.5 million in the US. Jnr NTR, commonly known as Tarak, is the grandson of Andhra Pradesh’s former chief minister and veteran actor NT Rama Rao. The 39-year-old began as a child actor and won a national award in 1997, in a film directed by his grandfather.