RIP Saroj Khan: The Choreographer Who Made Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit Stars

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Thousands sent across their condolences as Bollywood’s ace choreographer passed away at the age of 71 early this morning due to a cardiac arrest.  She was hospitalized in Mumbai’s Guru Nanak Hospital after complaining of breathing problems on June 20th. Survived by her children Hina Khan, Sukanya Khan and Hamid Khan, Saroj Khan’s last rights will be done in Malad.

The three times national award winner was born as Nirmala Nagpal and began her career by playing a young character named Shyama in Nazrana. Under the tutelage of dance director B Sohanlal, Khan became a background dancer.

Known as “The Mother of Dance in India,” she has choreographed over 2000 songs, including ‘Ek Do Teen,’ ‘Ye IshqHaaye’ and ‘Dola Re Dol.’

Actor Madhuri Dixit, one of the most iconic dancers in the industry, was shaped by Saroj Khan in her early days. Devasted by the news, she said, “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,” From Tezaab to Thanedar to Beta, Devdas and Kalank, they shared a special bond, making Madhuri one of her favorite students. “Madhuri could pick up dance steps easily. She was a trained Kathak dancer and learnt for 12 years. But, the problem was she couldn’t shake her hip. In Kathak, you don’t shake your hip. The first film we did together was Subhas Ghai’s Uttar Dakshin. From there our journey started and I started teaching her. She was a little slow in the beginning but she got the heck of it. Madhuri used to copy me to the T. Ek Do Teen was the best performance of Madhuri and it established her as a dancer;” she added.

Jab We Met star Kareena Kapoor too shared her memories with Saroj Khan. “Master ji always told me… perrrna hin chala saktiii toh kam se kam face toh chalaaaaa (If you can’t move your feet, at least move your face). That’s what she taught me… to enjoy dancing, smile and smile through the eyes.There can never be another… Dance and expression can never be the same for us actors and for everyone who loved her… Love you master ji. Till we dance again… RIP #SarojKhan, she wrote, sharing a picture of them.

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