Bollywood's veteran dance choreographer Saroj Khan died today after a cardiac arrest in Mumbai today. The three-time national award winner was 71 years old and her death has been confirmed by her daughter Sukaina Khan. Her career spanned around forty years wherein she choreographed around 2000 songs.
Khan was admitted to a hospital in Mumbai on June 20 after she complained of breathing issues. Her last rites were performed at Malvani in Malad, Mumbai. Saroj Khan is survived by three children namely Hamid Khan, Hina Khan, and Sukanya Khan.
Born as Nirmala Nagpal, Saroj Khan's first break was 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”.
She has also been a judge in multiple dance reality shows. Her last work was the song “Tabaah Ho Gaye” from Kalank (2019) which was filmed on Madhuri Dixit.
Stars who danced to her tunes post heartfelt messages
Numerous stars from Bollywood took to social media remembering Saroj Khan. Amitabh Bachan shared a photograph on Instagram with a lengthy post. Some other posts are shared below:
Remembering the ace choreographer, Madhuri shared on Twitter, “I’m devastated by the loss of my friend and guru, Saroj Khan. Will always be grateful for her work in helping me reach my full potential in dance. The world has lost an amazingly talented person. I will miss you My sincere condolences to the family. #RIPSarojji”
Shah Rukh Khan remembered Saroj Khan as his first teacher in Bollywood. He tweeted, "My first genuine teacher in the film industry. She taught me for hours how to do the ‘dip’ for film dancing. One of the most caring, loving & inspiring persona i have ever met. Will miss you Sarojji. May Allah bless her soul. Thank u for looking after me.
Actor Preity Zinta tweeted, "So sad to hear that Saroj Ji is no moreMasterji taught me how to lip sync a song, dance gracefully & become a hindi film Heroine. Her priceless expressions & her quest for perfection was a master class for me when I started out #RIP #Sarojkhan I will miss you. #legend "
Karishma Kapoor took to Instagram saying, "Saroj ji cannot forget the endless hours learning dance and expression from you at Satyam hall.. ur teachings took me a long way.. Rip
#master #teacher #danceguru #sarojkhan
Filmmaker Aanand L Rai tweeted, "This is the end of an era. RIP Saroj ji. We will miss you. #SarojKhan"
Actor Raveena Tandon tweeted, "Sad to hear about the passing of Saroji. A Genius and a mastercraftman at her work! A legend choreographer. You will be missed Saroji. No one like you and your adahs and the understanding of sensuality."