star choreographer

'Heroines today are not what they used to be'

The biggest of Bollywood heroines dance to her tunes and they do it quite happily. And why not? It is because of her they are able to give popular moves in the films.
 

Saroj Khan – One of the most prominent Indian dance choreographers in Hindi cinema, is a name to reckon with, and has to her credit more than a 100 Hindi films for which she has choreographed.

Recently on a visit to Delhi as part of the ongoing Women’s Day celebration, the famous choreographer spoke to Metrolife and shared some of her experiences.
 Talking about how the film industry has changed towards women, she said, “In the beginning men used to dress up like women to portray a feminine character because the film industry was a taboo for ladies, also initially, mostly the heroines used to come from the tawaif gharana.
 No decent people would allow their girls to become heroines. And during this time women contributed a lot.  From Meena Kumari to Nutan to Vyajantimala to Rekha – all have contributed immensely to the industry and have done such fabulous works.”
 Putting the focus on the portrayal of women in Indian cinema, she said, “Heroines today are not what they used to be.
 The younger generation does not want to portray the role of Rani of Jhansi as they don’t believe in these stories.
 Today, it is only a ‘boy meets girl’ act. Either they are travelling, or they are fighting.
 Nowadays, the girls can’t even dance properly but they are made into semi-nude heroines.
 Even the choreographers give no thought to the scenes and lyrics. All they are expected to do is increase the speed of the moves, make frames and just sway.
 Show off, that’s all!” 
Saroj Khan who has taught dance steps to numerous heroines still loves Vyajanthimala.
 But amongst the contemporary actresses her favourite is Madhuri Dixit-Nene as “she can really portray my choreography well”. 

Sharing her thoughts on the ever-increasing forms of dances like, hip-hop, popping and locking, Saroj Khan, said, “How long will these dances last? Every time western dancers have come, they got along disco dance, break dance, jiving, but they never last long because they don’t have variety. They are not born here. They copy from MTV, pick up moves from other songs and teach the artistes. We still labour with our brains because we really want to choreograph and we don’t copy. These ‘copy cat’ choreographers will not last long.”

So are you happy with the choreography in Hindi films?
 Do you find them vulgar?
 “Yes, I am unhappy because I am a different individual and I don’t go around doing this kind of gandagi. Even if you pick up my sexiest number, it will be within the limits of decency. You will feel sexy, but never cheap. The dance trends today bother me so much. I tell the choreographers to resist from this bawdy stuff, but they are doing what is supposed to be a ‘hit’. We have a sheep mentality. Everyone follows the other, without making the effort to be different, to stand out from the crowd.” 

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