Mangaluru: Dance is an important element of Hindi cinema. Some actors have rhythm in their step while others have to work really hard to get it right. Choreographer Saroj Khan has been making actors dance to her tune for the last 50 plus years, and has choreographed the best and worst dancers of the industry. For instance, she says Madhuri Dixit is one of the best dancers she has worked with, while Sonam Kapoor is one of the worst! And this young and energetic 67 years old, “Dance Guru” of Bollywood world, Saroj Khan arrived at the Mangalore International Airport, and Team Mangalorean was first to have close encounters with her.
Saroj Khan was welcomed at the airport lounge with a flower bouquet by L Goel- the Managing Director of Pandit’s Health Resort and Spa-Moodbidri, along with his friends namely Sudhir Bhat- MIA Station Manager of Air India; Archana Shetty- Head of Security-Jet Airways; Nasreena Banu- lady entrepreneur from Mangaluru; and Utkarsh Agarwal- a relative of Goel. Saroj Khan will be felicitated tonight at Pandit’s Health Resort and Spa as part of their Dasara celebrations.
Speaking to mangalorean.com, J Goel said, ” It’s indeed a pleasure for me to have Saroj Khan in our midst whom I have known her for years. It’s also a honor for us at the resort to felicitate such a talented choreographer in Bollywood cimema. In the past we have felicitated many achievers like Mamatha Poojary (India kabbadi star), Poovamma (Indian Sprinter), Sony Shetty (13 year-old girl who became a karate champion), DB Mehta- President of CREDAI and many others. Tonight we will be also felicitating Rajesh Bhat, a Kannadiga from Mangaluru who is a co-producer of Salman Khan’s home production ” Bajrangi Bhaijaan”.
This is what Saroj Khan has to say about some of the Bollywood actors/actresses she had trained -“Kareena and her sister Karisma would attend my salsa dance classes. Kareena is very good. Priyanka Chopra picked up her dance steps very quickly; Vidya Balan in ‘ Bhool Bhulaiya’ did a fantastic dance performance; Sonakshi Sinha is a very good dancer, I choreographed her in ‘Rowdy Rathore’-her expressions are very good, and when she emotes, you will suddenly feel Reena Roy is standing in front of you; Deepika Padukone is also a good trained dancer- her item song in ‘Dum Maaro Dum’ was badly done, but you can’t blame her, it was choreographed badly. But I had choreographed the original ‘Dum Maaro Dum’ song in ‘Hare Rama Hare Krishna’;
“Sonam Kapoor is also a good dancer, like her dad, Anil Kapoor who has his own dance styles. Madhuri Dixit is the best dancer in the world, working with her was a pleasure because she follows everything to the T. People know her for her dance more than her acting. Sri Devi is also a good dancer, her dance had a lot of fun steps; Shah Rukh Khan-I can’t call him a dancer, but he is a hero kind of dancer; Salman Khan-I call him a dancer because Prabhu Deva made him a pro; Abhishek Bachchan is also a good dancer who picks up all the dance steps quickly; Shahid Kapoor is too good; Hrithik Roshan, he’s the best in the industry” has added Saroj Khan.
Saroj Khan- a Profile :
Nirmala Kishanchand Sadhu Singh Nagpal, born on November 22, 1948, popularly known as Saroj Khan is one of the most prominent Indian dance choreographers in Hindi cinema. She choreographed more than 2000 films. Saroj Khan was born to Kishanchand Sadhu Singh and Noni Sadhu Singh. She is married to a Muslim, Sardar Roshan Khan and that is where her last name Khan comes from.
saroj Khan started her career as a child artist at age three in film Nazarana as child Shyama and a background dancer in the late 1950s. She learnt dance while working under film choreographer B. Sohanlal. Later she herself shifted to choreography, first as an assistant choreographer and later getting her break as an independent choreographer, with Geeta Mera Naam (1974). However, she had to wait many years to receive acclaim which came with her work with Sri Devi, Hawa Hawai in Mr India (1987), Nagina (1986) and Chandni (1989) and later with Madhuri Dixit, starting with the hit Ek Do Teen in Tezaab (1988), Tamma Tamma Loge in Thanedaar (1990) and Dhak Dhak Karne Laga in Beta (1992). Thereafter she went to become one of most successful Bollywood choreographers. In 2014, Khan worked with Madhuri Dixit again in Gulaab Gang.
Saroj Khan appeared in a reality dance show as a member of the jury in 2005 Nach Baliye which aired on STAR One along with two other judges. She also appeared in the second season of the same show. She has recently been a judge for the show “Ustaadon ka ustaad” which is aired on Sony Entertainment Television (India). She appeared in the 2008 show Nachle Ve with Saroj Khan, which was aired on NDTV Imagine. She choreographed for this show. She appeared on Sony’s Boogie Woogie (TV series) show from December 2008 as one of the judges, along with Javed Jaffrey, Naved Jaffrey and Ravi Behl. She was a judge on the third season of a popular show – Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa which began on 27 February 2009 and was aired on Sony Entertainment Television (India) alongside former Nach Baliye judge Vaibhavi Merchant and actress Juhi Chawla. She is judging the dance reality show Nachle Ve with Saroj Khan. She has hosted and completed Nachle Ve with Saroj Khan. In 2012, The Saroj Khan Story, a documentary produced by PSBT and Films Division of India and directed by Nidhi Tuli was released.
Her selected filmography are :
“Tanu Weds Manu Returns” (2015)
Gulaab Gang (2014)
ABCD: Any Body Can Dance (2012)
Rowdy Rathore (2012)
Agent Vinod (2012)
Khatta Meetha (2010)
Life Partner (2009)
Love Aaj Kal (2009)
Jab We Met (2007) (Won the National Film Award for Best Choreography)
Namastey London (2007)
Guru (2007) (Won the Filmfare Award for Best Choreography)
Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal (2007)
Don – The Chase Begins Again (2006)
Mangal Pandey: The Rising (2005)
Sringaram (2005) (Tamil language|Tamil) Won the National Film Award for Best Choreography
Kuch Naa Kaho (2004)
Devdas (2002) Won the Filmfare Award for Best Choreography & National Film Award
Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (2001) Won the Filmfare Award for Best Choreography & National Film Award
Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999) Won the Filmfare Award for Best Choreography & National Film Award & American Choreography Award
Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya (1997)
Khamoshi: The Musical (1996)
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)
Nigahen: Nagina Part II (1989)
Kizhakku Africavil Sheela ( 1987 ) Tamil movie
Mr India (1987)
Thai Veedu ( 1983 ) tamil movie
As writer :
Veeru Dada (1990)
Hum Hain Bemisaal (1994)
Nazar Ke Samne (1995)
Chhote Sarkar (1996)
Dil Tera Diwana (1996)
Judge Mujrim (1997)
Bhai Bhai (1997)
Hote Hote Pyar Hogaya (1999)
Her few Awards and recognitions are :Madhuri Dixit dancing to Dola Re Dola for which Khan won first National Film Award. Unforgettable Tour, 2008; National Film Award for Best Choreography : 2002 – Devdas – Dola Re Dola; 2006 – Sringaram; 2007 – Jab We Met. Filmfare Best Choreography Award : 2008 – Guru; 2003 – Devdas; 2000 – Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam; 1994 – Khalnayak; 1993 – Beta; 1991 – Sailaab; 1990 – Chaalbaaz; 1989 – Tezaab; American Choreography Award-2002: Outstanding Achievement in Feature Film: Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (2001)