Celebrated Bollywood choreographer Saroj Khan passes away at 71
One of Bollywood's most loved choreographers, Saroj Khan, fondly addressed as Masterji by celebrities, passed away on Friday in Mumbai at the age of 71. She died due to cardiac arrest. Khan was admitted to Guru Nanak Hospital on June 20; her condition deteriorated on Thursday. She was tested for coronavirus and results came as negative. Stars and fans across India mourned her demise.
She started working when she was just three years old
Born in 1948, Khan started her career as a child artist when she was merely three years old. With time, she graduated to a background dancer in the 1950s and then worked with choreographer B. Sohanlal. She then made the jump to dance directing, initially working as an assistant choreographer before getting a break with the movie Geeta Mera Naam, that released in 1974.
Khan directed Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit's moves in several chartbusters
However, she was recognized only after 1985 when she directed late actress Sridevi in songs like Hawa Hawai (Mr. India), Main Naagin Tu Sapera (Nagina), and Mere Haathon Me Nau Nau Choodiya (Chandni). She also directed actress Madhuri Dixit in some of her most iconic songs like Ek Do Teen (Tezaab), Dhak Dhak (Beta), and Chane Ke Khet Me (Anjaam).
By winning three National Film Awards, Khan scripted history
Khan also choreographed the iconic Dola Re song from Devdas, filmed on Madhuri and her Bollywood colleague Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. She also directed Kareena Kapoor Khan's moves in Yeh Ishq Haye, the song from Jab We Met. In her illustrious career spanning decades, she won numerous awards. She was honored with the National Film Award thrice — the most for any choreographer.
Filmfare introduced the "Best Choreography Award" because of her
Interestingly, the prestigious Filmfare Awards didn't have the "Best Choreography" category until 1989. The organizers were forced to add it after seeing the response which Ek Do Teen song received. Obviously, Khan won the "Black Lady" that year.
Khan judged reality shows, taught dance on TV
Khan also judged reality shows like Nach Baliye and Jhalak Dikhlaa Jaa. In the hugely-popular television show Nachle Ve with Saroj Khan, she taught dance to the country. Of late, she had become selective with her projects and was involved with only two movies last year — Kalank and Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi. She is survived by her husband, son, and two daughters.
You made dance look easy, said Akshay Kumar
Reacting to the solemn news, actor Akshay Kumar tweeted, "She made dance look easy almost like anybody can dance, a huge loss for the industry. (sic)" Megastar Amitabh Bachchan said the news made his mind restless. Director-choreographer Farah Khan wrote, "You were an inspiration to many, myself included. Thank you for the songs. (sic)" And Anupam Kher wrote he would miss Khan's "sweet scolding."
Bollywood lost many gems this year
2020 is certainly a terrible year for Bollywood as it has lost some of its most celebrated talents. Actors Irrfan Khan, Rishi Kapoor, and Sushant Singh Rajput died in the last few months. While Irrfan and Rishi succumbed to illness, Sushant died by suicide last month. He was only 34 years old and reportedly suffered from clinical depression. Music composer Wajid Khan died too.