Neena Gupta recalls shooting with Saroj Khan on 'Choli Ke Peeche' sets; shares an unfulfilled dream

Updated: Jul 08, 2020, 19:05 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

Neena Gupta recently mourned Saroj Khan's death. Khan had choreographed the superhit song Choli Ke Peeche starring Gupta

Ace Bollywood choreographer Saroj Khan passed away due to cardiac arrest on July 3. She was 71. The National Award-winning choreographer was admitted to Guru Nanak Hospital in Mumbai, and had been experiencing multiple health issues. She was diabetic and had complained of breathing problems last month. Saroj Khan is survived by her husband B. Sohanlal, son Hamid Khan and daughters Hina Khan and Sukaina Khan.

Neena Gupta recently mourned Saroj Khan's death. Khan had choreographed the superhit song Choli Ke Peeche starring Gupta from the 1993 film Kalnayak. The Badhai Ho actress took to her Instagram to express her condolences. She recorded a video and shared it on social media with the caption, "Thank you saroj ji will miss you (sic)".

In the video, Gupta said, "It was my first day on the sets of Choli Ke Peeche. I had heard about Saroj Khan as she choreographed many big names and was very nervous. Madhuri Dixit was in front of me which made me all the more nervous. When Saroj ji showed me the dance moves, I became numb and said, ‘I won’t be able to do this’. I had no confidence. She asked me what am I capable of and assured me that she will incorporate those moves in the choreography. She made me feel so comfortable and slowly I also understood what she wanted from me.”

Neena also shared a dream of working with her again. Expressing one of her desires, she said, "I used to dream that since I have received quite a few awards for Badhaai Ho, although I am too old, maybe I will also be called to perform an item number on stage at award events. I used to think that I will do it on one condition that only Saroj ji will choreograph the performance. My dream remains unfulfilled."

 
 
 
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A post shared by Neena Gupta (@neena_gupta) onJul 6, 2020 at 4:08am PDT

Bollywood celebrities took to social media to mourn the tragic loss of their 'masterji' as Saroj Khan was fondly called. From her favourite student, Madhuri Dixit Nene, to Shilpa Shetty Kundra and other stars offered their condolences to the family.

Born in 1948, Saroj Khan started out in films at the age of three as a child actor before a stint as a backup dancer in the fifties. As a choreographer, Saroj Khan started her journey in the film industry in the early seventies. But she became a household name and gained immense popularity in the mid to late eighties, first directing dances for Sridevi, and then Madhuri Dixit. 

Saroj Khan won the National Award thrice in her lifetime. In 2003, she received the honour for the song 'Dola re dola' in Devdas, picturised on Madhuri Dixit-Nene 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 Khan in Jab We Met.

Khan's recent works include choreographing Kangana Ranaut in Manikarnika in 2019 and Tanu Weds Manu Returns in 2015. Her last major assignment was directing Madhuri's moves in last year's release, Kalank.

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