Saroj Khan Curated
Veteran Indian Choreographer
CURATED BY :
For how many years are you serving Bollywood as a choreographer?
Were their any artist in your family? What made you come to the film industry?
Did you had an ambition to become a dancer?
What was your early life as a dancer like?
How’s your initial journey been in Bollywood?
How did you start working with Subhash Ghai?
What was the turning point for you as a choreographer?
Could you share your experience while choreographing for Madhuri Dixit’s “ek do tin” ?
You were awarded the Filmfare Award for Tezaab. Could you share the story behind it?
What inspired you to get into Bollywood?
Could you share your experience behind your first composition?
Tell us your creative process for designing song and dance sequences in Bollywood.
How do you choreograph songs for different situations?
What is your opinion on the artistic skills and creativity you see today?
Do you really believe that the Indian style of dancing shall never lose its charm?
Who is your favourite Bollywood Dancer?
Do we really have to struggle in order to get into the glamour world?
Tell us about your educational background.
आपका पसंदीदा बॉलीवुड डांसर कौन है?
How did you start working with Subhash Ghai?
What motivated you to go to Bollywood?
How did you land your first solo choreography project?
How did you build credibility in the film industry?
Tell us about the changing choreography techniques over the years.
What is your advice on getting recognition and growing in the film industry?
What do you think of the various dance reality shows on TV?
Most of the children who participate in them are forced by their parents to do so. They run after their kids with sticks and coax them to dance. Maa baap ke munh toh khoon lag gaya hai ki yahan se paisa ata hai. So, instead of educating them, they want their children to be trained in dance. Reality shows have become a business. Most of the parents who come to me with two-and-half and three-year-olds, ask me the first thing that what is their future in dance? Which show will you put him into? Arre yaar, she is just a three-year-old, how can she even dance? They aren’t concerned that their studies are also going for a toss. You are bringing the kid for training, what the child wants later in his life should depend on him. Nobody comes just to learn dance for enjoyment.
Has choreography turned into a business now?
Earlier IFDDA (Indian Film Dance Director's Association) only had 60 certified dancers. Now it is 400. Earlier there were tests, conducted by veteran choreographers, which every aspiring choreographer had to pass through. Now it's all about money. As soon as they get a certificate, they start approaching serials for work. So the real choreographers like Ahmed Khan and Farah Khan are sitting at home, because they charge according to what they deserve.
How has dance evolved in the last two decades?
There’s barely any originality left to say that it’s evolved, most only copy moves from the West. There’s no creativity, only copycats. If I see two songs from a film, the movements look similar.
In the early 90s when you did three shifts a day, what was the role of a dance number in a movie?
I’ve completed seven songs in nine days once but that doesn’t mean I would copy myself. I would always try to bring out new movements. The songs would carry the story forward in movies then. Now, it’s only item songs with no continuity.
Does the present state of choreography upset you?
I am disappointed often, like when I saw my own Tamma Tamma going to dogs [in Badrinath Ki Dulhania]. Even my song Neend Churayee Meri, which was copied in Golmaal Again, didn’t come out superior to the original. We are getting used to the circus that’s going on now.
You’ve often spoken of your healthy dislike for item numbers, why is that?
Dislike ka reason hain ki aaj kal koi original nahin hain. If you look at Helen’s numbers, you’ll notice that there was a different Helen — different costume, hair, makeup, eye colour, movements — in every number. At the time, all choreographers were bent on making their own name. Now, they are not bothered about whose movement it is, it’s about how much crowd can they gather. So even if a song requires 10 dancers, they will put 20 because they get cut from every dancer.
What do you feel your moves continue to inspire?
It is because we chose such moves that even if someone tries to re-compose them, it’d seem off. Imagine redesigning moves for Ek Do Teen or Humko Aajkal Hain, it would seem misfit. Children were my best audience as they have a great memory and I would make my moves simple so that they would have recall.
You’re known to be a task master? Were actors scared of you?
Yes, I am strict and I am very particular about being on time as I’m never late. So those who came late for the shoot would have to bear my wrath. One of them was my darling student, Govinda. Bohot daatti thi aur baat bhi nahin karti thi for the entire day as punishment.