Saroj Khan, the choreographer will dance no more. At least in the avatar we know her as. There have been ‘master’ choreographers before her in Bollywood, but not female.
Making a (song and) Dance of Desire
There have been other choreographers who may have showcased the fragility and delicateness of the female protagonist. But few have been able to depict women protagonists in all their hitherto hidden femininity as well as Saroj Khan did. The heroines in the dances she choreographed were confidently sensuous, comfortable with their own desires, and loved to make a song and surely a dance about it. Without skipping a beat or being apologetic for a moment.
The Arts & Life
The Arts and Life mirror each other, they say. Sometimes the poet and the artist envisages things ahead of his or her time. Saroj Khan surely envisaged the Indian woman, absolutely comfortable with herself and her sexuality. She could also leverage it in a subtle manner without being vampish. As lightly and as effervescently as Hawa Hawaii.
The heroines before Saroj came in may have said ‘Ye Ishq Haye‘ and may still have embarked on secret dalliances ‘Chane ke khet mein‘. But Saroj singularly brought out all the ‘Dhak Dhak‘ from ‘Choli Ke Peeche‘ in either a airy ‘Hawa Hawaii‘ manner or the more in your face ‘Tamma Tamma Loge‘ ishtyle.
When Life Gives Lemons, dance ‘Nimbooda ,,,’
It may not be all jest if we were to hypothesize this. That the seven notes in music may have also tapped their feet to her moves…”Ek Do Teen..” The year 2020 has surely found a way to cut short some dance sequences and serve us lemons. But such is Life. We may just have to sing ‘Nimbooda Nimbooda‘, grin and bear it. Making a song and dance of it is not given to us ordinary mortals.