“The Mother of Dance in India”- that’s the name the famed dance choreographer Saroj Khan was denoted with in Bollywood because she was someone who didn’t just strive to get the steps in the songs right but also worked hard to perfect the emotions and expressions to complement it- she rightfully earned the respect and adoration of millions and not just in India. Though today, she is not with us anymore, her legendary work will keep her alive in our hearts forever.
Saroj Khan entered Bollywood as a background dancer
In a career that spanned over 40 years, Saroj Khan choreographed over 2000 songs, steadily becoming an icon whose name was synonymous with the world of dance. But her initial years in the industry began with her entering Bollywood as a child artist at the age of three with the film Nazarana. By the late 1950s, Saroj Khan was a background dancer in songs behind the likes of Madhubala and Vjyayantimala.
“I was in the back row chorus of a song-dance number in Bimal Roy’s Madhumati where Vyjayantimala was the lead dancer and the heroine of the film. It was a long struggle with many ups and downs in my personal life,” she once shared in an interview.
After working for many years as assistant choreographer, she got her first break as an independent choreographer with Geeta Mera Naam in 1974, but her first taste of success and acclaim came in the late 1980s, after which she reigned Bollywood as one the most successful choreographers giving forever hit dance numbers:
- Ek Do Teen Chaar- Tezaab (1988)
Three decades have passed since Saroj Khan choreographed this iconic dance number featuring Madhuri Dixit, making her an instant sensation with the graceful dance moves and perfect expression, and still it remains a favorite dance number, even for millennials!
- Hawa Hawai- Mr. India (1987)
This is another Saroj Khan choreographed song that falls in the unforgettable category wherein Sridevi beautifully alleviated the dance steps with her graceful moves.
- Dola Re Dola- Devdas (2002)
To date, this remains one of the iconic creations of Khan where she curated the most striking dance steps for the legendary actresses Madhuri-Aishwarya, for which she also won the National Award and Filmfare Award for Best Choreography.
- Dhak Dhak Karne Laga- Beta (1992)
Saroj Khan’s moves and Madhuri Dixit charisma made this song a forever hit and gave the actress the moniker of Dhak Dhak Girl, a testament of her sensuous dance.
- Tabaah Ho Gaye: Kalank (2019)
Solely picturized on Madhuri Dixit, this was Saroj Khan’s last choreographed song. “She finds a spiritual aspect and works on expressions. She knows how to make a woman look graceful and beautiful through a dance,” Madhuri during an interview.