Saroj Khan
Saroj Khan Image Credit: IANS

A biography of Saroj Khan was been announced on Saturday, which marks the first death anniversary of the late choreographer.

The film will bring to life the story of the struggle and success of Khan, widely acknowledged as India’s first female choreographer. Details about the film are yet to be officially announced.

Saroj Lead-1625307944599
Montage of Saroj Khan working with Bollywood stars Image Credit: IANS

“My mother was loved and respected by the entire industry but we have closely seen her struggle and fight to become who she was. We hope with this biopic, will be able to tell her story, her love for us, her passion for dancing, and her fondness for her actors and respect to the profession with this biopic,” said Sukaina Khan, daughter of the late choreographer.

Raju Khan, who is also a Bollywood choreographer and son to Saroj Khan, said: “My mother loved dancing and we all saw how she dedicated her life towards that. I am glad I followed in her footsteps. My mother was loved and respected by the industry and it is an honour for us, her family, that the world can see her story.”

Saroj Khan passed away on July 3 last year at the age of 71 due to cardiac arrest.

Born Nirmala Kishanchand Sadhu Singh Nagpal, her father advised her to change her name to Saroj Khan so that her orthodox family wouldn’t get to know that their daughter was working in films. She started her career as a child artiste at the age of three with the film ‘Nazarana’ as baby Shyama. She became a dancer at the age of 10 and an assistant choreographer at 12.

Sridevi and Saroj Khan
Sridevi and Saroj Khan Image Credit:

Khan started out choreographing with the 1974 film, ‘Geeta Mera Naam’. She directed songs for the Tamil film ‘Thai Veedu’ in 1983, and also worked in Subhash Ghai’s superhit ‘Hero’ the same year. She became a household name in the mid- to late-eighties, directing memorable dances for Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit, the reigning superstars of the era.

It was the 1986 film, ‘Nagina’ made her a household name. Sridevi’s iconic dance ‘Main naagin tu sapera’ in that film continues to be a popular today. Her choreography for Sridevi the next year in ‘Mr India’, particularly the song ‘Hawaa hawaai’ became equally popular.

Khan had also directed some of Dixit’s most iconic dance hits including ‘Ek do teen’ (‘Tezaab’), ‘Choli ke peechhey’ (‘Khalnayak’), ‘Dhak dhak’ (‘Beta’) and ‘Maar daala’ (‘Devdas’).

Saroj Khan with Madhuri Dixit Nene
Saroj Khan with Madhuri Dixit Nene Image Credit:

Among her major assignments is choreographing for Aishwarya Rai in ‘Taal’ (1999) and ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’ (1999).

Her last assignments include choreographing Kangana Ranaut in ‘Manikarnika’ (2019) and ‘Tanu Weds Manu Returns’ in 2015.

Her last major work was directing Dixit-Nene’s moves in the 2019 release ‘Kalank’.

In recent years, Khan became a popular face on television as a judge on dance shows such as ‘Naach Baliye’ and ‘Jhalak Dikhla Ja’.

Madhuri Dixit Nene, Saroj Khan and Subhash Ghai
Madhuri Dixit Nene, Saroj Khan and Subhash Ghai Image Credit:

In 2012, Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT) had produced a documentary film on Saroj Khan’s life directed by Nidhi Tuli.

Khan choreographed around 3,500 songs in her career span and is a three-time Indian National Award winner.

Rights to produce the biopic have been acquired by Bhushan Kumar’s T-Series.

:Saroj ji’s journey that started as early as a three-year-old was met with a lot of ups and downs. The success and respect she gained from the industry has to be brought to life. I remember visiting film sets with my father and seeing her bring life to songs with her choreography. Her dedication towards the art was commendable. I am glad Sukaina and Raju agreed to let us make this biopic of her mother,” said Kumar.