RIP Saroj Khan: Director Sanjay Gupta recalls memories of working on Tamma Tamma with her
Director Sanjay Gupta got a chance to work with the late choreographer Saroj Khan in two films, one being his debut film Aatish (1994) itself. He recalls the times he worked with her, especially how she ‘made Sanju (Sanjay Dutt) dance’ in Tamma Tamma.Updated: Jul 03, 2020 14:03 IST
Choreographer Saroj Khan’s passing away has left a big void in the Hindi film industry, owing to the way she transformed actors on-screen with her choreography. Filmmaker Sanjay Gupta reveals that he got a chance to work with the late choreographer on two projects — his debut film Aatish (1994), and the chartbuster Tamma Tamma for Thanedaar (1990), on which he was an assistant director.The 50-year-old goes down the memory lane, “Those were very early days of having music videos, back in 1988-89. We recorded the song with Bappi da. It was called India’s first digital only song — the entire song had been programmed, with no live instruments. I had to kind of step in for the director in the film, because he had a fall out with the producers, who decided to add a song to the film.”
Gupta worked closely with Khan on the song, and they decided to come up with new techniques and styles. “I shared some dance videos with Saroj ji, what if we do it like that. There was this one shot chair sequence, super wide angle shots from top, to the way the song was cut, lighting with flares… it was a first, nobody had done that before. That’s why that one song sticks out from the rest of the film, both in it’s approach and timing. That was my first experience of working with her,” adds Gupta.
What he also can’t forget is how Khan ‘made Sanju (Sanjay Dutt) dance’. He believes that all the songs the ace choreographer did were legendary. “With Madhuri (Dixit-Nene), and before her Sridevi. Hawaa Hawaii, even the songs in Karma (1986). Of course, the greatest song she has done is Kaate Nahi Kat Te (Mr India). Saroj ji was easily the Queen of the 90s. It is a very big loss to the film industry,” he signs off.
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