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Friday, August 07, 2020

Remo D’Souza: Saroj Khan ensured the dancer connected with soul of the song

Remo D'Souza, who considers Saroj Khan as his mentor in the Hindi film industry, today looked back on a two-decade-long association with the legendary choreographer.

Written by Komal RJ Panchal | Mumbai | Updated: July 3, 2020 3:56:01 pm
remo dsouza, saroj khan, remo dsouza saroj khan Remo D’Souza took to Instagram to share these photos of himself and Saroj Khan. (Photo: Remo D’Souza/Instagram)

Bollywood choreographer Remo D’Souza on Friday remembered late Saroj Khan as a choreographer who infused soulful expression through movement in Hindi film songs.

Remo, who considers Saroj as his mentor in the industry, looked back on a two-decade-long association with the choreographer. He said, “My association with Saroj Khan is priceless. I remember it was Rani Mukerji’s first film, Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat, where I was dancing in the background and Saroj ji was the film’s dance director. I was a young chap trying to understand how things work in the industry. She has taught me so much about the art.”

Saroj Khan’s signature choreography was instantly recognisable, and one didn’t need to wait for the credits to know who was behind the “adaa” in a film’s dance numbers. Saroj also appeared in Remo D’Souza’s 2013 dance film ABCD: Anybody Can Dance, sharing screen space with Prabhu Deva, Ganesh Acharya and Remo in the song “Psycho Re”. Remo revealed directing her “was like a dream come true and a complete delight.”

Remo also opened up about his working experience with Saroj Khan in her last project, Kalank (2019). He said, “It was my good fortune that she agreed to let me work alongside her, but I didn’t consider myself as a co-choreographer but an assistant. It was a five-day shoot, where I truly relished the chemistry between Saroj ji and Madhuri (Dixit) ji.”

Recalling the veteran choreographer’s dedication on set, he shared, “During this shoot, even when she was not keeping too well, once the music started, she was a different person, forgetting all her aches and pains and dancing to the tunes. She was full of energy and life.”

Saroj Khan was not only passionate about dance but also cared about her artistes, making sure they all got a fair share of work. Remo D’Souza shared, “She wanted to keep dancing, keep working and make sure that every dancer in the industry kept getting work. Her unabashed passion towards dance direction was quite something. From her, I have learnt to work hard.”

Also Read | Saroj Khan passes away | Saroj Khan made stars dance to her tunes | Celebs mourn the demise of Saroj Khan | Amitabh remembers Saroj Khan: You gave us rhythm, style and grace of movement | Madhuri: Saroj Khan taught me not just dance but so much more | Best songs of Saroj Khan

Saroj Khan nurtured several choreographers in the Hindi film industry. D’Souza, who considers Khan a legend when it comes to choreographing classical numbers, confessed he learnt a lot from watching her. “As a choreographer, I have learnt from her that it is important to keep the lyrics in mind. The meaning of the words meant a lot to her, and she ensured the dancer connected with the soul of the song when performing. She could bring that out from an actor or a dancer beautifully. I don’t think anyone else could choreograph an Indian classical dance like her and nobody can in the future either. She was a legend.”

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