Bollywood's ace choreographer Saroj Khan passed away on July 3 due to cardiac arrest. She was admitted to Mumbai's Guru Nanak Hospital last month after complaining of breathing problems. Her last rites were performed at Malad burial ground. Few members of her family were allowed at the burial owing to social distancing norms. Saroj Khan was known to bring alive Bollywood songs with her beautiful choreography and gave many signature steps and dance moves to the viewers. However, last year she had revealed that she was out of work. The legend said that the industry was no longer interested in working with her. This was when superstar Salman Khan came forward and promised her that she will work with him.
In an interview with Mid-Day, Saroj Khan had said, "When we met, Salman asked me what I was doing nowadays. So I told him honestly that I don’t have any work [film offers], and that I am teaching Indian classical dance to young actresses. Upon hearing that, he said, ‘Now, you will work with me’. I know he is a man of his word, so he will keep his promise."
Salman Khan, had collaborated with Saroj Khan for his first film Biwi Ho Toh Aisi (1988) and his cult classic Andaz Apna Apna (1994).
Saroj Khan started her career as a background dance when she was 3 and then worked as an independent choreographer in 1963 in Nigahein Milane Ko Jee Chahta Hai from Dil Hi Toh Hai, when she was just 14-years-old. It was the 1986 film, Nagina that made her a household name. Sridevi's iconic dance 'Main naagin tu sapera' in that film continues to be a popular number even today. Khan became a popular name in the mid to late eighties, first directing some memorable dances for Sridevi and then Madhuri Dixit, the reigning superstars of the era.
Saroj Khan won the National Award thrice in her lifetime. In 2003, she received the honour for the song "Dola re dola" in "Devdas", picturized on Madhuri Dixit and Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan. In 2006, she was a recipient of the award for all the songs she choreographed in the Tamil film, "Sringaram". In 2008, she won the award for the song "Yeh ishq haaye" filmed on Kareena Kapoor in "Jab We Met".