Saroj Khan, one of the most prominent Indian dance choreographers in Hindi cinema whose career spanned more than 40 years, has died. Khan passed away Friday from cardiac arrest in a Mumbai hospital, her nephew Manish Jagwani confirmed to PTI news agency. She was 71.
Over the course of her career, Khan known as The Mother of Dance/Choreography in India, choreographed over 2000 songs. The three-time National Film Award winner began her career as an assistant choreographer, later getting her break with the 1974 Hindi film Geeta Mera Naam.
Khan became renowned for her choreography in the 1980s, working with leading stars such as Madhuri Dixit and Sridevi Kapoor. She choreographed Kapoor in the song “Hawa Hawai” in 1987’s Mr. India. Her other notable films include Nagina, Chandni, Thanedaar and Gulaab Gang, and most recently, the 2019 films Kalank, The Gandhi Murder and Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi.
Khan also worked in television as judge on reality dance show Nach Baliye and more recently in Ustaadon Ka Ustaad, which aired on Sony Entertainment Television in India. She also appeared on and choreographed Nachle Ve with Saroj Khan, which aired on NDTV Imagine.
Actor Akshay Kumar is among those mourning her loss. “Woke up to the sad news that legendary choreographer #SarojKhan ji is no more,” wrote Kumar. ‘She made dance look easy almost like anybody can dance, a huge loss for the industry. May her soul rest in peace 🙏🏻”
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