The Mother of evolving forms of dance in Bollywood
Saroj Khan, the mother of dance choreography in India, died of cardiac arrest at early morning of July 3. She had won National Awards three times during her 40-year career. She was 71.
Struggle before her soul departed
Saroj Khan was earlier admitted to the Guru Nanak Hospital in Mumbai on June 28. She had some breathing issues, but she was tested negative of Coronavirus test.
How was Saroj Khan’s Early and Family Life?
The legendary choreographer Saroj Khan was born on November 20, 1948, in Bombay. Her real name was Nirmala Nagpal.
Saroj khan started her career at a very tender age
Saroj Khan’s career started at the age of three when she worked as a child artist. Later, she began learning dance and was employed as a background dancer for many Bollywood movies. As a teenager, Saroj Khan tapped the foot in many famous songs, including ‘Aaiye Meherban’ in the film ‘Howrah Bridge’ (1958).
Saroj Khan being a child bride
When she was just thirteen years old, she got hitched with Sohanlal, a dance choreographer. Sohanlal was 41 at that time. Saroj Khan didn’t know he was already married and had three children. She was pregnant with her first child after the first year of marriage. But the couple split within four years of their wedding.
When tragedy didn’t leave Saroj Khan’s side; but she never gave up
Later, Saroj Khan and Sohanlal tried to resolve issues between them. They were blessed with a daughter. The happiness lived for a short span as Sohanlal died of cardiac arrest. She raised her kids alone.
Life after Success
After Saroj Khan became famous, she married to Sardar Roshan Khan, a businessman and had her second daughter.
Saroj Khan’s Career
From a background dancer to assistant choreographer, Saroj Khan’s journey commenced after getting her first break as an independent choreographer in Gulzar’s ‘Mausam’ (1975). She was working on different projects but did not receive much appreciation.
Saroj Khan’s first breakthrough
It was only after ‘Nagina’ (1986) Saroj Khan made her breakthrough in the industry. She made late actress Sridevi danced on ‘Naagin’ song. And then on ‘Hawa Hawai’ in ‘Mr. India’ (1987). These classic songs are still a hit. Working with Sridevi was a turning point for Saroj Khan’s career.
The Guru Saroj Khan’s encounter with her ace student Madhuri Dixit
Saroj Khan also collaborated with the very charming actress of Bollywood, Madhuri Dixit Nene. The duo became famous with Madhuri’s expressions and Saroj’s steps. ‘Ek Do Teen’ in ‘Tezaab’ (1988), ‘Dhak Dhak Karne Laga’ in ‘Beta’ (1992), ‘Tamma Tamma Loge’ in ‘Thanedar’ (1990) are some of the duo’s blockbuster songs. Madhuri Dixit shared a special bond with Saroj Khan.
As a guru, Madhuri has always credited Saroj Khan for pushing her to fame by choreographing many of her dance numbers. Madhuri is very lucky to have worked with her teacher for the last time. The two had been seen collaborating for the song ‘Tabah Ho gye’ in ‘Kalank’ (2019). It was also the last work of Saroj Khan in the Hindi film industry.
Saroj Khan worked in Bollywood for 4 decades
Over 40 years in Bollywood, she had worked with actors of different generations. Be it be Amitabh Bachchan or Late Rishi Kapoor or Govinda or Anil Kapoor; she had mastered all of them. Her impact as a dance choreographer could be seen in the films like Chandani’ (1989), ‘Baazigar’ (1993), ‘Darr’ (1993), ‘Taal’(1999), ‘Devdas’ (2002), etc.
Saroj Khan’s popular nickname ‘Masterji’
Fondly known as ‘Masterji,’ she had tutored choreographers that are now very popular. Choreographer and Director Farah Khan is one such example.
Saroj Khan has also judged several dance reality shows like ‘Nach Baliye,’ ‘Ustaadon Ka Ustaad,’ ‘Jhalak Dikhla Jaa,’ etc. She even hosted her own show ‘Nach Le with Saroj Khan’ which has been an inspiration for millions out there dancing.
Saroj Khan’s Awards Gallery
When Saroj Khan made everyone groove on “yeh ishq haaye” along with Kareena
The leading lady of dance choreography in Hindi cinema was a receipt of National Awards. Saroj Khan won National Awards for the songs ‘Dola re Dola’ from ‘Devdas’ (2002) and ‘Yeh Ishq Haaye’ from ‘Jab We Met’ (2008).She was even awarded a National Award for choreographing a Tamil movie ‘Sringaram’ (2006).
The Filmfare nominations and awards are uncountable. She got the Black Lady of Filmfare for choreographing in movies like ‘Beta’ (1993), ‘Chaalbaz’(1990), ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’ (2000), etc.
Celebrities from Bollywood paid tribute to Saroj Khan. They share their emotions on Twitter: