- Saroj Khan died at the age of 71
- "A legend has left us," tweeted actress Shilpa Shetty
- "It was she who taught me film dance," tweeted Manisha Koirala
Veteran choreographer Saroj Khan, best known for choreographing iconic Bollywood songs, died of a cardiac arrest in Mumbai on July 3. She was 71. Tributes from the film fraternity, remembering Saroj Khan with fond memories, poured in on Twitter. "I'm devastated by the loss of my friend and guru, Saroj Khan," tweeted Madhuri Dixit, who was the star of several iconic dance songs, choreographed by Saroj Khan. Kajol, who was choreographed by Saroj Khan in Baazigar title track, wrote: "She taught me so much that I always used everywhere in so many other ways. When she danced it was like watching a whole book." Kareena Kapoor, who was choreographed by Saroj Khan in Yeh Ishq Haye, shared the veteran choreographer had taught her to: "enjoy dancing, smile and smile through the eyes." Tributes to Saroj Khan were also shared by the likes of Anushka Sharma, Sonam Kapoor, Taapsee Pannu, Genelia D'Souza, Jacqueline Fernandez, Malaika Arora and others. Actresses Alia Bhatt, Janhvi Kapoor and Sara Ali Khan dedicated heart-warming tributes to Saroj Khan on their Instagram stories.
Remembering Saroj Khan, Amitabh Bachchan wrote: "On a chance meeting many many years ago she paid me my best compliment." In a tweet on Friday afternoon, Shah Rukh Khan said: "My first genuine teacher in the film industry."
My first genuine teacher in the film industry. She taught me for hours how to do the 'dip' for film dancing. One of the most caring, loving & inspiring persona i have ever met. Will miss you Sarojji. May Allah bless her soul. Thank u for looking after me.- Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) July 3, 2020
Jalsa, Mumbai July 2/3, 2020 Thu/Fri 7:24 AM You rest .. you rest well .. you rise .. you realise the hours .. you seek the elixir .. you devour .. you get to connect .. ... and .. .. you be informed in this communicative world .. Saroj Khan has died .. .. and an entire history of time races before you in the cerebrum .. She was a sprightly young enthusiastic dance assistant to one of the major dance directors of the time .. of the time when I was just beginning .. of the film 'Bandhe Haath' with the heart throb of millions Mumtaz .. with the director OP Ralhan .. Mumtaz's grace and acceptance to agree to work with this newbe .. she a stratospheric Star , me a nobody .. .. and Saroj ji in the crowd of dancers in a song .. her subtle grace when she moved .. the expressions , the delicate little intricacies of each word and movement .. she was just so exceptional .. she was pregnant with child during the shoot , but never deterred from her work .. at one point I saw her , quite alarmingly , finding the foetus had shifted in her stomach and she simply unabashedly pushed it into place , and carried on .. dancing .. .. and then over the years .. she excelled and attained the podium title of Dance Director .. or as the language changed , the Choreographer of film .. her moves becoming famous for each artist she worked with .. and the love and affection she gave to all that came under her guidance .. and when she would see an artist give a good shot under her care .. she would call her or him aside .. and .. .. give a rupee coin .. as a gesture .. as a pat on the back .. a 'shagun' .. .. many many years later .. during the song sequence of a film I was doing .. I became the recipient of that coin .. an immense achievement .. Saroj ji .. you gave us and the industry , rhythm, style, grace of movement and the art of converting the lyrics in a song to a meaning in dance .. .. on a chance meeting many many years ago she paid me my best compliment .. she was living in Dubai then from marriage and when DON was released she said " I saw the film and then after, I would go to the theatre where it was released, at the time
I'm devastated by the loss of my friend and guru, Saroj Khan. Will always be grateful for her work in helping me reach my full potential in dance. The world has lost an amazingly talented person. I will miss you My sincere condolences to the family. #RIPSarojji- Madhuri Dixit Nene (@MadhuriDixit) July 3, 2020
View this post on Instagram
With her grace & artistry, Saroj ji found a place in all our hearts that noone has ever been able to take... she made the most beautiful dance compositions and turned many non-dancers into dancers. I was fortunate enough to work with her in many films and got to learn a lot from her. She brought out the dancer in me that I didn't even know was there! Her movements were magic & her face could express so many beautiful emotions... there's no one like her... Saroj ji has left her mark and will be remembered forever... I will miss her a lot...Love You Saroj ji...Thank You for everything
RIP to the most talented coolest choreographer ever! She taught me sooooo much that I always used everywhere in so many other ways. When she danced it was like watching a whole book ! Everything that she wanted to say was there so clearly on her face and in her body language . Even later when she grew older whenever we met I could see that mischief and affection and sheer love for her work. Love u Sarojji and be at peace knowing that u are loved and will always be remembered
Master ji always told me... perrr nahin chala saktiii toh kam se kam face toh chalaaaaa. That's what she taught me... to enjoy dancing, smile and smile through the eyes. There can never be another... Dance and expression can never be the same for us actors and for everyone who loved her... Love you master ji. Till we dance again... RIP #SarojKhan
Woke up to the sad news that legendary choreographer #SarojKhan ji is no more. She made dance look easy almost like anybody can dance, a huge loss for the industry. May her soul rest in peace- Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) July 3, 2020
Being a Technician's son, I've always known that cinema is as much about a behind-the-scenes person as it is about actors. RIP Saroj ji. You were an institution; your craft inimitable. Condolences to your family- Ajay Devgn (@ajaydevgn) July 3, 2020
So sad to hear that Saroj Ji is no moreMasterji taught me how to lip sync a song, dance gracefully & become a hindi film Heroine. Her priceless expressions & her quest for perfection was a master class for me when I started out #RIP#Sarojkhan I will miss you. #legendpic.twitter.com/OBRZY6aNXt— Preity G Zinta (@realpreityzinta) July 3, 2020
A LEGEND has left us Can't forget the moment I first met you when you came to choreograph"Kitaabe" and I burst out crying when I met you first (I was a huge fan of your work)I couldn't believe you were actually... https://t.co/d3CeDkk7Lx- SHILPA SHETTY KUNDRA (@TheShilpaShetty) July 3, 2020
23 years old, so new, Just into my second film, working with you, a taskmaster, a perfectionist, a LEGEND... was the last time i was ever nervous working with anyone. That 101 rupiye ki kharchi you gave me, and the words you told my mother "yeh ladki mera naam roshan karegi" gave me enough confidence to last a lifetime. Hope you are smiling wherever you are, and i hope i continue to make you proud! Rest in peace.
Saroj ji was an institution in herself. She has inspired so many choreographers, dancers, actors and directors to reach excellence in their work with her own gift of genius. Her art and legacy will live on forever. My deepest condolences to her family, friends and fans- Anushka Sharma (@AnushkaSharma) July 3, 2020
This is a sad news early in morning..since childhood I was trained in indian classical dance..it was she who taught me film dance once I joined films..(which I had zero knowlage of). A tough task master and a great one!! #RIPSarojKhan JI https://t.co/UxRDUwFbrH- Manisha Koirala (@mkoirala) July 3, 2020
Saddened to hear about legendary #SarojKhan Such a vision she was while dancing with unparalleled technical skills. Each of her songs is a masterpiece. Keep them all gyrating Master ji #RestInPeacepic.twitter.com/DGAZjoRj5G- Urmila Matondkar (@UrmilaMatondkar) July 3, 2020
Rest in Peace Saroj Khan ji. This loss is immeasurable for the industry & film lovers.Having choreographed more than 2000 songs she single handedly changed the landscape of how songs were shot. I had the pleasure of being Choerographed by her in Aladin. One tick off my bucketlist- Riteish Deshmukh (@Riteishd) July 3, 2020
Atleast I had a chance to dance in your company. I am going to hold on to those memories tight.... real tight.- taapsee pannu (@taapsee) July 3, 2020
we lose another star to the sky. Your songs will make every girl remember you for ever n ever. https://t.co/QWiG0FaP6j
RIP Saroji ... I thank God I got a chance to be choreographed by you.. Prayers and Strength to the Family..#SarojKhan- Genelia Deshmukh (@geneliad) July 3, 2020
When you think "choreography", you think Saroj ji. When you think "heroine", you think Saroj ji. I think she gave the term Bollywood heroine its true meaning. Creator of legends, and a legend herself. RIP Ma'am. We will celebrate you forever. #RIPSarojKhanpic.twitter.com/hNnTWT2AkT— Parineeti Chopra (@ParineetiChopra) July 3, 2020
This is so sad. An absolute legend. Thank you for paving the way of dance in this industry. You will live on forever . RIP Saroj ji. pic.twitter.com/CVoUaBbSn1- Athiya Shetty (@theathiyashetty) July 3, 2020
Tere aane se ronaq aa jaati thi .....Saroj...... affsos .....tum bhi chali gaien.....skoon naseeb ho rooh ko teri...... Friends, she was an assistant dance director in my first film Dil bhi tera.....a jolly good friend. pic.twitter.com/Vk65hJXQ0I- Dharmendra Deol (@aapkadharam) July 3, 2020
AN ERA HAS GONE- Subhash Ghai (@SubhashGhai1) July 3, 2020
absolutely my personal loss.
an integral part of our Mukta arts family-my strong partner in grooming stars like Madhuri Meenaxi Manisha n ashwarya
Master of masters
Saroj Khan will live in history of choreography of Indian cinema indeed.
Bye JAAN. RIP pic.twitter.com/iZcN3EBMh7
Nimrat Kaur summed up Saroj Khan's legacy in her tweet: "A genius who immortalised stars and the music that defined an era with her iconic work." Choreographer Remo D'Souza described Saroj Khan's death as a "Big loss to dance fraternity." Tributes also poured in from the likes of filmmaker Kunal Kohli, Koena Mitra, Rakul Preet Singh, Tamannaah Bhatia and others. Choreographer Farah Khan tweeted: "Rest in peace Saroj ji.. you were an inspiration to many, myself included."
Masterji A legend. Grew up dancing to all the iconic songs she choreographed. When we finally got to work together I discovered what an amazing woman she was. Thank you for the love, guidance and life lessons ???????? RIP Saroji. Deepest condolences to the family. pic.twitter.com/1UstSNTwF0— Dia Mirza (@deespeak) July 3, 2020
Sarojji was the first woman to become a chief choreographer in the Indian film industry! I used to dance to so many of her choreographed songs while growing up; trying to match and mimic her choreography that was simply iconic and amazing! Sarojjis master craft and magic will live on in our hearts always. Wishing love and strength to her loved ones and fans. ????????
I never met her personally but this feels like a personal loss. #RIPSarojKhan— Ayushmann Khurrana (@ayushmannk) July 3, 2020
Saroj ji's name introduced the word 'choreographer' to my life. A genius who immortalised stars and the music that defined an era with her iconic work. May her loved ones find strength and courage at this terrible hour. There'll never be another...#RIPSarojKhan#Legend#Masterjipic.twitter.com/EffYUvX7Ca- Nimrat Kaur (@NimratOfficial) July 3, 2020
Rest in peace Sarojji.. u were an inspiration to many, myself included. Thank you for the song #SarojKhan- Farah Khan (@TheFarahKhan) July 3, 2020
Saddened to hear about the passing of the legendary Saroj Khan ji. RIP.- Farhan Akhtar (@FarOutAkhtar) July 3, 2020
Have wonderful memories of time spent with her re-imagining 'Khaike Paan Banaraswala' on Don. Condolences to her family.
2020 please don't give any more bad news . So sad to hear about #SarojKhan ma'am . Always dreamt of doing atleast one song Choreographed by her. Your grace and contribution to indian cinema shall always be remembered. May your soul RIP. Strength to the family- Rakul Singh (@Rakulpreet) July 3, 2020
Woke up to the heartbreaking news of the legendary choreographer #SarojKhan's demise. Her iconic dance moves inspired me at a very young age. Rest in peace Saroj Ji- Tamannaah Bhatia (@tamannaahspeaks) July 3, 2020
You are truly irreplaceable.
Really sad to hear that Saroj Khan ji is no more between us. Her Grace , her simplicity her iconic moves and her legacy are immortalised. My condolences with Raju sir, and entire family. #RipSarojKhan- Neil Nitin Mukesh (@NeilNMukesh) July 3, 2020
My very brief encounter by a beautiful patient guru who was trying to teach some basics of Indian folk dancing. Even though our encounter was short I always go back to these videos to learn from her over and over. God Bless your soul and may you rest in peace. My heart goes out to the family, close friends and to all those out there who have lost this beautiful person from your life. RIP Mam!
Saroj Khan choreographed actresses Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit in several iconic dance songs such as Hawa Hawai, Ek Do Teen, Tamma Tamma Loge, Dhak Dhak Karne Laga among others. Songs such as Dola Re Dola and Yeh Ishq Haaye are also witness to some of Saroj Khan's genius choreography.
Saroj Khan is survived by her husband Sohanlal, son Raju, and daughters Hina and Sukanya.