22 November 1940
|Died||3 July 2020 (aged 79)|
(m. 1961; sep. 1965)
Sardar Roshan Khan
|Children||3 (2 with Sohanlal, 1 with Khan)|
Saroj Khan (born Nirmala Nagpal; 22 November 1940 – 3 July 2020) was an Indian dance choreographer in Hindi cinema. She was born in Bombay State (present day Maharashtra), India. She was best known for Dance Form Mujra and the first woman choreographer in Bollywood. With a career spanning over forty years, she choreographed more than 3000 songs. She died on 3 July 2020 of a sudden cardiac arrest.
Early life and career
Born Nirmala Nagpal, her parents Kishanchand Sadhu Singh and Noni Singh migrated to India after partition of India. She started her career as a child artist at the age of three with the film Nazarana as baby Shyama, and was a background dancer in the late 1950s. She learnt dance while working under film choreographer B. Sohanlal, whom she married at the age of 13 while he was 43 years and was already married with 4 children which she did not know at the time of marriage. After having three children (including one that died as an infant), the couple separated; after their separation, she married businessman Sardar Roshan Khan in 1975 and changed her name after converting to Islam. The couple have one child together: a daughter, Sukaina khan, who is known to run a dance institute in Dubai. Later, she moved to choreography, first as an assistant choreographer and later getting her break as an independent choreographer, with Sadhana Shivdasani's Geeta Mera Naam (1974). However, she had to wait many years to receive acclaim, which came with her work with Sridevi; Hawa Hawai in Mr India (1987), Main Teri Dushman, Dushman Tu Mera in Nagina (1986) and Mere Haathon Mein in 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 on to become one of the most successful Bollywood choreographers.
Saroj Khan appeared on 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 on 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 won three National Film Awards and eight Filmfare Awards, the most recognition of any choreographer.
Saroj Khan was admitted to Guru Nanak Hospital at Bandra, Mumbai on 17 June 2020, because of breathing difficulties, and died of cardiac arrest on 3 July 2020. She was 79 and is survived by son Raju Khan and daughter Sukaina Khan. She outlived her daughter Hina Khan aka Cuckoo, who died in February 2019.
- Sanam Tujhko Music Video (2020)
- Kalank (2019)
- Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi (2019)
- Byomkesh Pawrbo (2016) Bengali Film
- 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)
- Delhi-6 (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)
- Saawariya (2007)
- Don - The Chase Begins Again (2006)
- Fanaa (2006)
- Mangal Pandey: The Rising (2005)
- Sringaram (2005) (Tamil) Won the National Film Award for Best Choreography
- Veer-Zaara (2004)
- Swades (2004)
- Kuch Naa Kaho (2004)
- Dhund: The Fog (2003)
- Saathiya (2002)
- 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
- Hum Ho Gaye Aapke (2001)
- Fiza (2000)
- Taal (1999)
- Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999) Won the Filmfare Award for Best Choreography & American Choreography Award
- Soldier (1998)
- Vinashak - Destroyer (1998)
- Choodalani Vundi (1998) Telugu movie
- Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya (1997)
- Pardes (1997)
- Iruvar (1997) (Tamil)
- Khamoshi: The Musical (1996)
- Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)
- Raja (1995)
- Yaraana (1995)
- Mohra (1994)
- Anjaam (1994)
- Baazigar (1993)
- Tholi Muddhu (1993) (Telugu)
- Aaina (1993)
- Khalnayak (1993)
- Darr (1993)
- Beta (1992)
- Vishwatma (1992)
- Awaargi (1990)
- Thanedaar (1990)
- Sailaab (1990)
- Chandni (1989)
- Chaalbaaz (1989)
- Nigahen: Nagina Part II (1989)
- Tezaab (1988)
- Kizhakku Africavil Sheela (1987) Tamil movie
- Mr India (1987)
- Hifazat (1987)
- Nagina (1986)
- Hero (1983)
- Thai Veedu (1983) Tamil movie
- Geeta Mera Naam (1974)
- As writer
Awards and recognitions
Saroj Khan was the recipient of the most National Film Awards for Best Choreography with three wins.
|2003||Devdas||"Dola Re Dola"||Best Choreography||Won|||
|2008||Jab We Met||"Yeh Ishq Haaye"||Won|||
Saroj Khan was the first recipient of the filmfare Best Choreography Award. Filmfare instituted this award after watching the excellent choreography and audience response to Khan's song "Ek Do Teen" from Tezaab. Saroj Khan went on to have a hat-trick at the Filmfare awards winning consistently for 3 years from 1989 to 1991. She also held the record for winning the most Filmfare Best Choreographer Awards, winning 8.
- 2008 – Guru for the song "Barso Re"
- 2003 – Devdas for the song "Dola Re Dola"
- 2000 – Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam for the song "Nimbooda Nimbooda"
- 1994 – Khalnayak for the song "Choli Ke Peeche"
- 1993 – Beta for the song "Dhak Dhak Karne Laga"
- 1991 – Sailaab for the song "Humko Aaj Kal Hai Intezaar"
- 1990 – ChaalBaaz for the song "Na Jaane Kahan Se"
- 1989 – Tezaab for the song "Ek Do Teen"
- 2002: Outstanding Achievement in Feature Film: Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (2001)
- 1998: Nandi Award for Best Choreographer: Choodalani Vundi
- 2011: 19th Annual Kalakar Achiever Award for Outstanding Contribution in Dance Choreography
- 2000 – IIFA Award for Best Choreography for the song "Nimbooda Nimbooda" from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
- 2019 – IIFA Lifetime Achievement Award
In April 2018, Khan made statements defending the practice of casting couch, stating that the film industry provides people employment and "doesn’t rape and abandon" them. Following online backlash, she apologised for her comments.
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- Aug 24, Natasha CoutinhoNatasha Coutinho / Updated; 2018; Ist, 09:01. "Madhuri Dixit, Saroj Khan reunite for a mujra". Pune Mirror. Retrieved 21 July 2020.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
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- Gulzar; Govind Nihalani; Saibal Chatterjee (2003). Encyclopaedia of Hindi Cinema. Popular Prakashan. p. 573. ISBN 978-81-7991-066-5. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
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- Desk, India com Entertainment (3 July 2020). "Saroj Khan Passes Away at 71: Here's a List of Her Best-Choreographed Songs of The Dance Maestro". India News, Breaking News, Entertainment News | India.com. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
- "50th National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
- "53rd National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
- "55th National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
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- "Saroj Khan defends casting couch in Bollywood, says it at least provides livelihood". The Indian Express. 24 April 2018. Retrieved 21 July 2020.
- Goyal, Divya (24 April 2018). "Saroj Khan's Shocker on Casting Couch: At Least Film Industry Gives Work, Doesn't Rape And Abandon". NDTV. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
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