Run a montage of Bollywood since its inception in your mind. Slow down when you get to the 80s, 90s and early 2000s. There’ll be flashes of brilliantly dressed legendary heroines performing iconic moves. These abiding images of Bollywood are courtesy Saroj Khan, the person who made us 80s kids familiar with ‘choreography’.
Here, we take a look at some of our favourites. The ones we mimic, the ones that are just too sexy that they make us blush, the ones that are full of grace that we aspire for.
Tabaah Ho Gaye - Kalank (2019)
Saroj Khan was choreographing as late as 2019. Her final composition was with her self-confessed favourite star, Madhuri Dixit. She and Madhuri are a match made on the dance floor! Their synchronicity has wowed us so many times. And their last outing was no different.
Sharm Laaj - Gulaab Gang (2014)
Madhuri Dixit and Saroj Khan reunited yet again for this exuberant number. The choreography seems so organic, and the joy real.
Yeh Ishq Hai - Jab We Met (2007)
There’s an involuntary hop, skip and jump that we do when we see this song. It’s hard not to channel the bubbly Geet whose effervescence Saroj Khan has evoked with such charm. She won the National Film Award for Best Choreography for this one.
Barso Re - Guru (2007)
This one’s an absolute delight to watch. The choreography is so liberating and captures the thrill of rains.
Saroj Khan’s mastery is on full display here in this stunning, classical piece. You wouldn’t want to blink during this National Award winning performance.
Dola Re - Devdas (2002)
Attempts at performing these intricate moves were all over the college circuit and still is today on reality dance shows.
Radha Kaise Na Jale - Lagaan (2001)
With Saroj Khan it’s not just about the way you move, it’s how you emote as well. And this piece is proof that her choreography adds life to the movie.
Nimbooda Nimbooda - Hum Adil De Chuke Sanam (1999)
The fall out of every Saroj Khan choreographed-song was a bunch of kids sparkling in sequins trying to ape it in schools and apartment association gatherings. This was an instant favourite.
Kahin Aag Lage - Taal (1999)
Aishwarya Rai and Saroj Khan came together for this epic musical. The film may not have fared well but the music and dance remain fresh as yesterday.
Mehendi Laga Ke Rakna - DDLJ (1995)
Apparently, Aditya Chopra and the Master had a disagreement over the choreography of this track. But we love how its come out. The love, joy, yearning and affection is made palpable by Saroj Khan’s working of this song.
Choli Ke Peeche - Khalnayak (1993)
This one is too hot to handle! It came out in 1993 but we still can’t dance to this song without bursting into embarrassed giggles.
Every song Saroj Khan composed a step for has turned out to be a classic. She and her choreography will forever remain an integral part of Bollywood and its legend.