One of India’s most prominent choreographers, Saroj Khan, passed away early on Friday morning due to a cardiac arrest at the age of 71.
She was admitted to Guru Nanak Hospital in Bandra last Saturday after she complained of breathing issues. The mandatory COVID-19 test done at the hospital showed a negative result.
“She passed away due to cardiac arrest at around 2.30 am at the hospital,” Khan’s nephew Manish Jagwani told PTI.
Tributes for the veteran choreographer poured in from Bollywood, where she choreographed over 2,000 songs in a career spanning over four decades.
“I’m devastated by the loss of my friend and guru, Saroj Khan,” tweeted actor Madhuri Dixit.
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— Madhuri Dixit Nene (@MadhuriDixit) July 3, 2020
Actor Akshay Kumar, who was one of the first ones to condole Saroj Khan’s death on Twitter, described her as someone who “made dance look easy almost like anybody can dance, a huge loss for the industry.”
“Saroj Khan my beloved Masterji. #RIPSarojKhan From Music Videos to films we had a long journey together. Now you’ve left me and gone. I will do and make what we spoke about one day, my promise to you,” film director Kunal Kohli wrote on Twitter
Director and choreographer Remo D’Souza said the death of Saroj Khan was a big loss to dance fraternity.
Rest in Peace Saroj Khan ji. This loss is immeasurable for the industry & film lovers.Having choreographed more than 2000 songs she single handedly changed the landscape of how songs were shot. I had the pleasure of being Choerographed by her in Aladin. One tick off my bucketlist— Riteish Deshmukh (@Riteishd) July 3, 2020
Saroj Khan, who stepped into Bollywood as an independent choreographer in 1974, was recognised for her genius after choreographing Sridevi and later Madhuri Dixit for several dance numbers.
Ek Do Teen from Tezaab, Tamma Tamma Loge from Thanedaar and Dhak Dhak Karne Laga from Beta are some of Madhuri Dixit and Saroj Khan’s best known collaborations. During her illustrious career, Saroj Khan won the National Award thrice, one of which was for the song Dola Re Dola, starring Madhuri Dixit and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, from Devdas.
Khan choreographed Sridevi in the song Hawa Hawai from the 1987 blockbuster hit Mr India, kicking off her career as a dance director to be reckoned with.
She last choreographed for Tabaah Hogaye, featuring Madhuri from filmmaker Karan Johar’s production Kalank in 2019.