Saroj Khan: Breaking down the choreography that created hits for Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit

Posted on July 9, 2020


Like in our classical dance, the idea was to create a “movement” or a “step” that illustrated the lyric. This is the tradition Saroj Khan inherited, and she ran with it. 

It’s no accident that Saroj Khan’s best-known dance choreography came in the Sridevi-Madhuri Dixit era. Indian mainstream cinema was still “Indian”, and not “Westernised”. This isn’t a judgement. It’s what it was: the tonality of our films still drew from indigenous theatrical traditions, and a lot of the acting (especially that of the heroines) still drew from the Natyashastra traditions. And so did the dance. The choreographer’s job was to create a “movement” or “step” that illustrated and illuminated the lyric. Take one of the most famous pre-Saroj Khan dance sequences, dazzlingly choreographed by “B Sohan Lal (South)”, as the credits have it: Hothon mein aisi baat, from Jewel Thief (1967). The key words in the opening line of the song — and I’m not being exact here — are hothon (lips), baat (matter), dabaake (held down), khul jaye (open), duhaai (prayer.)

Read the rest of this article here:

Copyright ©2020 Film Companion.