Bollywood top choreographer Saroj Khan passes away at 71
She was admitted to Mumbai's Guru Nanak Hospital on June 20 after complaining of difficulty in breathing and died of cardiac arrest. She was 71.
"She passed away due to cardiac arrest at around 2:30 am at the hospital," Ms Khan's nephew Manish Jagwani told news agency PTI.
She is survived by her son and daughter, Raju and Sukaina Khan.
Saroj Khan was born as Nirmala Nagpal. She joined the Indian film industry as a child artiste, playing the younger Shyama in Nazarana.
She eventually became a background dancer in 1950s films like Bimal Roy’s Madhumati under the guidance of dance director B Sohanlal.
Saroj Khan later became an assistant choreographer and her first break as an independent choreographer came with Geeta Mera Naam (1974). She tasted fame with the song “Hawa Hawai” from Mr India (1987). Her collaboration with Sridevi on other projects like Chandni and Nagina further boosted her profile.
It was, however, her collaboration with Madhuri Dixit that transformed the careers of both the artistes, beginning with “Ek Do Teen” (Tezaab), and following it up with dance numbers “Tamma Tamma Loge” (Thanedaar), “Hum Ko Aaj Kal Hai Intezaar” (Sailaab) and “Dhak Dhak Karne Laga” (Beta).
Samina Peerzada mourns Saroj's death
Given Saroj's influence on this side of the border, television director, producer and actress Samina Peerzada also went on to pay her respects. Replying to Madhuri Dixit's post, Samina talked about how the Dil to Pagal actress was lucky to have someone like Saroj in her life.
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
"A great loss please accept my heartfelt condolences. You were blessed to have her as your Guru. May her wonderful soul rest in eternal peace," Samina said.
A great loss please accept my heartfelt condolences. You were blessed to have her as your Guru. May her wonderful soul rest in eternal peace.— Samina Peerzada (@SaminaSays) July 3, 2020
Bollywood took to Twitter to mourn Khan's death, with many, such as superstar Akshay Kumar and director Kunal Kohli, thanking her for her work.
#SarojKhan #Masterji every song we did together whether Chui Mui Si Tum,Saanson ko saanson mein,Chand Sifarish,we argued,discussed. I’ll miss her presence. Her voice on the mike. Her Adaa. I would tell the actors Male & Female,do 50% of how she does a shot & you’ll be a star— kunal kohli (@kunalkohli) July 3, 2020
Woke up to the sad news that legendary choreographer #SarojKhan ji is no more. She made dance look easy almost like anybody can dance, a huge loss for the industry. May her soul rest in peace 🙏🏻— Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) July 3, 2020
Rest in peace Sarojji.. u were an inspiration to many, myself included. Thank you for the songs🙏🏻 #SarojKhan— Farah Khan (@TheFarahKhan) July 3, 2020
Saroj Khan defined her era. Sad sad day.— Harneet Singh (@Harneetsin) July 3, 2020
Such sad news to wake up to. Another huge loss to our fraternity, an end of an era. You will always be missed #SarojKhan ji and your iconic choreography will forever be cherished.— Vivek Anand Oberoi (@vivekoberoi) July 3, 2020
May her soul in rest in peace. Deepest condolences to her family and loved ones. Om Shanti 🙏