RIP Saroj Khan: Sridevi’s Hawa Hawai to Madhuri-Aishwarya’s Dola Re Dola, iconic songs choreographed by her
Legendary choreographer Saroj Khan died of cardiac arrest on Friday, at the age of 71. She had been in the Guru Nanak Hospital in Mumbai since June 17 after she complained of breathing difficulties. The mandatory Covid-19 test done at the hospital showed a negative result.
“She passed away due to cardiac arrest at around 2.30 am at the hospital,” her nephew Manish Jagwani told PTI.
In the 1950s, Saroj began working as a background dancer and got her first break as an independent choreographer with Geeta Mera Naam in 1974. In her career spanning several decades, she is credited with choreographing over 2000 songs, and won three National Awards.
Here is a look at some of the most iconic songs choreographed by her:
1. Ek Do Teen from Tezaab (1988)
Saroj has had a long-standing relationship with actor Madhuri Dixit and choreographed her in a number of memorable songs, one of the earliest of which was Ek Do Teen. The setting of the song was the lovely Mohini (Madhuri’s character) being forced to dance in front of a crowd of men but what could have easily become sleazy is elevated to a new level of excellence, thanks to Saroj’s graceful moves and Madhuri’s million-dollar smile.
2. Hawa Hawai from Mr India (1987)
One of the biggest chartbusters of the 1980s, Hawa Hawai gave legendary actor Sridevi the moniker of Hawa Hawai girl. In the song, journalist Seema (played by Sridevi) gains access to a smugglers’ den by disguising herself as an exotic Hawaiian dancer. Saroj’s spirited choreography, along with Sridevi’s expressions, Javed Akhtar’s quirky lyrics and Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s peppy tune made it a song to remember through the years.
3. Dola Re Dola from Devdas (2002)
Dola Re Dola from Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas was voted the greatest Bollywood dance number of all time in a poll by UK-based ‘Eastern Eye’ newspaper in 2018. The graceful choreography by Saroj, grand sets, singer Shreya Ghoshal’s melodious voice and of course, Madhuri Dixit and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan made it not only one of the highlights of the film but also stand out as an iconic song.
4. Dhak Dhak Karne Laga from Beta (1992)
Even now, Madhuri Dixit is known as the Dhak Dhak girl of Bollywood, as Dhak Dhak Karne Laga remains one of her most popular songs. Saroj reunited with Madhuri for yet another unforgettable song. Did you know that the song was shot in just three days instead of the originally planned six-day schedule?
5. Yeh Ishq Haaye from Jab We Met (2008)
Kareena Kapoor Khan’s song from Jab We Met won Saroj her third National Award for choreography. Shot in the snowy landscape of Himachal Pradesh, Yeh Ishq Haaye is one of the biggest highlights of Imtiaz Ali’s film.
Saroj was laid to rest at a cemetery in Malad on Friday morning. “We buried her at around 7 am. The prayer meeting will be held after three days,” her daughter Sukaina told PTI.
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