Inspired by Dytto and her barbie dance, Preeti Kumari from Ranchi is dancing with her own unique twist. On her feed, you will find her dancing like a doll. Her moves are sharp, steps are sleek, and she doesn’t even blink!
In June 2020, Preeti Kumari was getting bored to death. So, she took up her phone and made a funny video of herself. She posted it on TikTok and kept making similar videos for a week. Nothing happened! But then she decided to do something unique and ended up filming a short video where she was dancing like a doll with robotic moves and no expressions. This video received many likes which motivated Preeti to make another video.
The next day she posted her second dancing doll video which went viral in no time. She had gained 8,000 new followers and many were commenting. “After a week the app was banned. So, I shifted to another application but it was also shut down. Finally, I made an account on Instagram and started posting videos here”, says Preeti Kumari, a doll dancer, who now has over 200k followers on Instagram.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Preeti is a real-life doll. She doesn’t even blink, her steps are robotic, and she dances just like a doll or better, a Kathputli. Preeti takes her inspiration from the popular American dancer Dytto, and says is a huge fan of her. “I have always been inspired by her acts. So, I tried doing something similar. Dytto usually does the Barbie dance but since I’m from India, I decided to do it with something that would represent our culture. And, added the Kathputhli act into my videos”, she said.
It was surprising for us to know that Preeti doesn’t do practice before shooting her acts. It’s all very spontaneous and something that happens automatically. “Usually, I finish my videos on the first or second try but sometimes It does take a lot of effort and time. I don’t stop until I get the perfect shot. So, sometimes It goes up to 12-15 takes. The video I did for the song Saami Saami took me 16-17 takes. I wanted to do it very slow and create an illusion so that I don’t look like a human”, she explained.
Other than her stunning steps, it’s also her makeup, hairstyle, and expression that help her nail the barbie or the Kathputli look. Even the outfits are on point and add to the entire feel of the song. “I have learned makeup by watching YouTube tutorials. I was never a dancer, but after watching videos and doing practice I ended up dancing too. I’m a quick learner so I guess that works out for me. Also, If I talk about the expressions, I think the funny videos I made initially were a big help “, she said.
Preeti’s Instagram feed is a mix of trendy music, remixes, and also many familiar old songs. She personally loves the music from the 70s and the 80s and feels they go very well with her acts. “I really adore the era of the 70s and 80s as they have the tune that looks great with the steps I do and enhance the overall kathputhli feel. I also think people are able to connect more when I do old songs”, she further added.
It’s mesmerizing and impressive to see how each video looks perfect. Everything feels just right, and the way it’s done makes us feel like watching it over and over again. It was another surprising thing to know that Preeti was making these videos on her phone and didn’t even have any equipment. “I still don’t have proper space and the equipment. Also, I was shooting videos with my phone until I crossed 100 K followers. I used to hang my phone by putting a thread at the back of it and would somehow record myself. But, now I have bought a tripod and ring light”, she mentioned.
Preeti is just 26 and holds a degree in Accounts. She was working as a marketing as well as a Holiday consultant before her videos went viral. During the lockdown when she wasn’t working, her friends insisted she makes videos. Initially, Preeti didn’t consider it but then changed her mind, and the rest is history. “I create illusion and that confuses people a lot. So they watch it again to verify if it’s actually a human. Some of them have even told me that they have seen each video at least 40 times”, she said.
And this is true! You just can’t watch her videos and scroll down. It’s addictive as the Choreography is superb. Preeti Kumari now has a huge fan following and people love her. “There was this lady who told me that her daughter watches my videos and keeps insisting she brings the same doll for her. The lady was tired of explaining to her kid that I wasn’t a doll so I sent her a voice note. It was just so sweet I think”, said Preeti while laughing loudly.