Saroj Khan involved in the choreography of more than 300 films over the course of her decades-long career

By Jen Juneau
July 03, 2020 10:00 AM
Saroj Khan
Credit: STR/AFP via Getty Images

Saroj Khan, a three-time National Film Award-winning Bollywood choreographer whose career spanned at least 60 years, has died. She was 71.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Khan died Friday of cardiac arrest at a hospital in Mumbai, the city where she was also born.

Born Nirmala Sadhu Khan in 1948, Khan appeared in her first Bollywood film at just 3 years old, THR reports.

Her first big-screen choreography gig was for 1960's Kalpana, on which she served as an assistant choreographer before she was even a teenager, according to her IMDb page.

She would go on to be involved in the choreography of more than 300 films over the course of her decades-long career, including 2003's Devdas, 2006's Sringaram and 2008's Jad We Met, all of which she won the best choreography National Film Awards for.

Many fans and former colleagues of Khan expressed their grief on social media following her death, including Madhuri Dixit, who wrote, "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," continued the Bollywood star, adding a broken heart emoji. "My sincere condolences to the family. #RIPSarojji"

"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 🙏🏻," added another veteran Bollywood actor, Akshay Kumar.

Saroj Khan
Saroj Khan
| Credit: Prodip Guha/Getty Images

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Khan was also known for her work on the films Lamhe, Mr. India and Chandni, notably choreographing routines to more than 2,000 songs over the course of her career.

"You were like the fireworks in all our celebrations. Thank you for all the joy you brought us through your work. #RIPSarojKhan 🌹#SarojKhan," tweeted composer and music producer A. R. Rahman.

"Every time I got to know you would be choreographing the song I stepped up an extra notch," added Shreya Ghoshal, a singer, music producer and composer. "You brought nuances, expressions, grace on screen with your heroines. The end of an era."

Khan is survived by her husband and three children. She was buried in Mumbai on Friday, her nephew Manish Jagwani revealed to reporters, according to THR.