Guwahati: Renowned Bollywood choreographer Saroj Khan died early on Friday morning due to cardiac arrest. She was 71. Saroj had choreographed some of the most memorable songs in Hindi cinema, was not keeping well for some time. She was admitted to Guru Nanak Hospital in Bandra last month after she complained of breathing issues.
Saroj Khan, the three-time National Award winner in career spanning of 40 years was credited for choreographing more than 2,000 songs. Her list of credits include iconic numbers such as Dhak Dhak Karne Laga from Beta (1992), Ek Do Teen from Tezaab (1988), Hawa Hawai from Mr India (1987) and many more.
Born as Nirmala Nagpal, Saroj Khan began her career by playing the young Shyama onscreen in Nazarana. She soon became a background dancer under the mentorship of dance director B. Sohanlal. After assisting as a dance choreographer for a few years, her first independent work came in Geeta Mera Naam (1974).
Saroj got noticed after she choreographed for Sridevi in Mr. India’s song “Hawa Hawai” (1987). She worked with Sridevi in films like Nagina and Chandni. This was followed by her long-term partnership with Madhuri Dixit in the 1990s in songs like “Ek Do Teen”, “Hum Ko Aaj Kal Hai Intezaar”, “Dhak Dhak Karne Laga”, “Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai”, and “Tamma Tamma”.
Interestingly, Saroj Khan’s choreography in Tezaab song Ek Do Teen, starring Madhuri, is the reason that Filmfare included the Best Choreography Award category. Saroj Khan became the first recipient of the award and holds the record of highest wins with eight Filmfare Best Choreography Awards. She won for choreographing Madhuri Dixit songs in films such as Chaalbaaz, Beta, Sailaab, Devdas among others.
Saroj’s other popular films include Baazigar, Mohra, Darr, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Taal, Veer-Zaara, Pardes, Soldier, Don, Saawariya, Lagaan, Tanu Weds Manu Returns, Manikarnika among more.
The choreographer has also judged dance reality shows like Nach Baliye, Ustaadon Ka Ustaad, Boogie Woogie and Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa. Her last work was the song “Tabaah Ho Gaye” from Kalank (2019) which was filmed on Madhuri Dixit.