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Veteran choreographer Saroj Khan dies at 71

The National award-winner died of cardiac arrest in Guru Nanak Hospital, Mumbai, early this morning.

Photo: Courtesy Saroj Khan on Instagram

Our Correspondent

Veteran choreographer Saroj Khan died early today of a cardiac arrest in the intensive care unit of Guru Nanak Hospital in Mumbai.

The 71-year-old had been admitted in hospital on 20 June with breathlessness, and had tested negative for COVID-19.

Born Nirmala Nagpal on 22 November 1948, Saroj Khan began her career in the 1950s as a background dancer and later became an assistant choreographer. She got her chance to be an independent choreographer with Geeta Mera Naam (1974).

Khan is known for her work on films like Hero (1983), Mr India (1987), Chandni (1989), Beta (1992), Mohra (1994), Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), Taal (1999), Lagaan (2001), Don (2006), Saawariya (2007), Agneepath (2012) and Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi (2019).

Fondly called ‘Masterji’, the veteran had hit collaborations with stars like Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit Nene. The three-time National award-winner had a long career spanning nearly five decades, with over 2,000 songs to her credit as choreographer.

Saroj Khan became the first recipient of Filmfare's award for Best Choreography with 'Ek Do Teen' from Tezaab (1988) which made Madhuri Dixit a household name. She also worked with the actress for her last number in a film, 'Tabaah Ho Gaye' from Kalank (2019).

Khan’s last rites will be performed at Malvani in Malad, Mumbai, today.

The Hindi film industry, which has already seen much loss this year, remembered the veteran with their tributes.