One of the most celebrated choreographers in India's film industry Saroj Khan breathed her last early Friday following a heart attack. She was 71.
The veteran Bollywood choreographer was hospitalised on 20 June after complaining of difficulty breathing. She passed away at Mumbai's Guru Nanak Hospital at 2:30 a.m. local time.
Her family said she had also undergone a COVID-19 test but the results were negative. Her last rites have been performed.
In her illustrious 40-year career as a choreographer, Saroj had the distinction of working with just about every generation of Bollywood actors. The three-time national awardee had choreographed more than 2,000 Bollywood movies.
She acquired a special place in the hearts of classic actresses such as Madhuri Dixit and Sridevi, whom she choreographed for some of their most iconic songs.
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 #Masterji pic.twitter.com/EffYUvX7Ca— Nimrat Kaur (@NimratOfficial) July 3, 2020
Some of the chart-busters mentored by her include "Dhak Dhak Karne Laga", "Ek Do Teen", and "Tamma Tamma".
Saroj started off her career as a child artist aged 3. She initially worked as a background dancer. It was for her brilliant choreography skills that Indian Filmfare introduced the "Best Choreography" category at awards shows.
Tributes have poured in from the film fraternity, which is still grieving the loss of some of its most famed actors who passed away in the last two months. Film critics and notable Bollywood stars offered their condolences to the beloved Saroj Khan.
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
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
T 3582 - Prayers .. 🙏 ..— Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) July 3, 2020
हाथ जुड़े हैं , मन अशांत
Condolences were also offered by admirers of her skills and personality. Remembering her, netizens shared videos of some of her most memorable songs.