Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

Saroj Khan, a renowned choreographer, played a pivotal role as a dance mentor in Bollywood, reshaping dance in Hindi films. Many top actresses like Madhuri Dixit, Aishwarya Rai, and Sridevi performed some of their most unforgettable songs under her guidance. The iconic Dhak Dhak song was choreographed for Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit, earning her the title of the Dhak Dhak girl. Interestingly, the Central Board of Film Certification wanted to edit some scenes from the song. They felt that the dance steps were intentionally provocative and not suitable for the audience at that time.

Saroj Khan on Madhuri Dixit’s Dhak Dhak song

In a documentary titled The Saroj Khan Story, produced by The Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT) in 2012, Saroj Khan shared details about her discussion with members of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). She clarified that the board had issues with the dance steps, particularly a scene where Madhuri is depicted sitting down. She added, “They (CBFC) wanted to cut down the whole mukhda of the song. So they (the producer, and director) were petrified. They said ‘Come along with us. See what they are saying, whether you can help us. So, I went.”

The choreographer provided a real-life demonstration to the members of the board present. She mentioned that there was a lady present who was Sindhi, wearing a saree and high heels. The lady told her, ‘You are shaking the chest deliberately. We don’t like that.’ She then asked her to “get up” as she wanted to show her something and asked then asked her to “walk”.

She further mentioned that when you wear high heels, your hips naturally move upward because of the balance. She explained, “Now you are shaking deliberately? I have to shake the body to show that I am dancing and she (Madhuri’s character) says Dhak Dhak. From where will that sound come? From the heart. And where is the heart? Near my bust line, so I have to show Dhak Dhak (enacts the step). She was convinced and she let us go ahead.”



About Saroj Khan

Saroj Khan’s journey in the film industry began at a young age. The acclaimed choreographer, who won the National Award three times, started as a child artist in black-and-white films like Sharda (1957) and Aaghosh (1953). Subsequently, she discovered her passion for dancing and secured her first group dance in the 1958 film Howrah Bridge for the song Aaiye Meherbaan, featuring Madhubala. In this scene, Saroj played one of the boys in the background. A few years later, she started working as an assistant with the renowned choreographer B Sohanlal. Later, as she pursued an independent career, Saroj Khan choreographed for films like Mr. India, Chandni, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Taal, and more. While she contributed to both Hindi and South Indian cinema, her partnership with actor Madhuri Dixit stood out as particularly successful.

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