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Veteran choreographer Saroj Khan passes away at 71

She was 71.

The three-time National Award winner was not keeping well for some time. She was admitted to Guru Nanak Hospital in Bandra on June 20 after she complained of breathing issues.

She had tested negative for COVID-19.

Khan is survived by son Raju Khan and daughter Sukaina Khan.

Her funeral was held on Friday morning at a cemetery in suburban Malad.

Mourning her death, superstar Akshay Kumar said Khan made dance look easy and accessible. “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 tweeted.

Actor Suniel Shetty called Khan a true guru. “You are loved… You are irreplaceable… A true Guru,” he wrote.

Director Hansal Mehta wrote, “An era is over. RIP Saroj Khan.”

Director Kunal Kohli, who worked with the choreographer on “Fanaa”, remembered Khan as someone who stood up for people’s rights. “She stood up for the rights of people. Never bothered who was a star or not. She said her bit unadulterated and from the heart. Brought biryani on every song and fed the whole crew so lovingly.We gossiped, we worked. Thank you for the memories masterji. Saroj Khan love you always,” he tweeted.

In a career spanning over four decades, Khan, who was known as Masterji, choreographed more than 2,000 songs. Khan’s best work was with actors Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit, the prominent dancing stars of the 80s and 90s.

Her parents migrated to India after the Partition. She started her career in the film industry as a child artiste at the age of three and later worked as a background dancer.

Khan got her first break as an independent choreographer with Geeta Mera Naam in 1974 but it took Sridevi’s Hawa Hawai song in 1987 film Mr India for her to receive acclaim as a dance choreographer of repute.

There was no looking back for Khan after the success of the song. She choreographed Sridevi in films such as Nagina and Chandni.

But it was her work with Madhuri Dixit that made her famous. Starting with Ek Do Teen in Tezaab , she choreographed Madhuri in Tamma Tamma Loge in Thanedar and Dhak Dhak Karne Laga in Beta and “Dola Re Dola” from Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s “Devdas”.

She last choreographed for “Tabaah Hogaye”, featuring Madhuri from filmmaker Karan Johar’s production “Kalank” in 2019.

 

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