Madhuri Dixit’s 5 best songs and dances with Saroj Khan

Ek do teen, an ordinary tune, so unremarkable that director N Chandra didn’t want it in the film was lifted by the exceptional choreography of Saroj Khan and Madhuri Dixit’s dazzling dancing

Madhuri Dixit’s 5 best songs and dances with Saroj Khan

Subhash K Jha

1. Ek do teen (Tezaab): This will remain Madhuri’s swoon song. A very ordinary tune, so unremarkable that director N Chandra didn’t even want it in the film, lifted by the exceptional choreography of Saroj Khan and Madhuri’s dazzling dancing. The hook step remains the single most vital and transformative piece of dancing in Indian cinema. Anil Kapoor got so insecure about the end-product that he demanded his own male version of Ek do teen, which was shot as a tapori number on the streets. But it’s Madhuri who waltzed away to eternal fame with the numbers game. . Shot with a 1,000 junior artistes screaming ‘Mohini Mohini’ (Madhuri’s name in the film) Javed Akhtar’s dummy words(used as makeshift method of shooting until the final lyrics are over) become the darling ditty of generations to come.

2. Maar daala (Devdas): Choreographer Saroj Khan and Madhuri Dixit were the maestros of cine-dancing Their collaboration always meant something special. Madhuri felt Saroj Khan knew exactly how to draw out the best in her. For Maar daala Saroj Khan landed up on the set straight from the airport after a 22-hour flight from Canada. Incidentally, the song was originally recorded in Asha Bhosle’s voice. It was re-recorded in Kavita Krishnamurthy’s voice just days before shooting.

3. Dola re dola (Devdas): The most difficult choreography for Saroj Khan was Dole re dola in Devdas. Not only did she have to match the steps of two superstar dancers Madhuri and Aishwarya, Sarojji was also not well. She was at times lying down on studio floor and choreographing Aishwarya and Madhuri. On the day Devdas released Sarojji was in the hospital. Aishwarya and Bhansali went to meet her. Sarojji in her semi-conscious state asked, ‘Dola re dola pe paise miley ya nahin?’(did the audience shower coins on Dola re dola or not)? Even in that state she wanted to know if her work was being appreciated.

4.Ghar morey pardesiya (Kalank): If Madhuri Dixit agreed to dance to Saroj Khan's tune after 18 years -- the last film they collaborated on was Sanjay Bhansali's Devdas-- it was only because of Karan Johar. The enterprising movie Moghul sat the two ladies down and made them iron out their differences. Nobody knows what it was exactly that triggered off this prolonged Cold War between the danseuse-actress and the legendary choreographer. The last time that they worked together was for the Mujra Maar Dala in Devdas. Thereafter some uncharitable remarks of the temperamental choreographer put Dixit off.

5. Mora piya ghar aaya ho ramji (Yaarana): This could only happen with the Madhuri-Saroj Khan combination: flop film , hit number. Yaarana an unofficial remake of the Julia Roberts starrer Sleeping With The Enemy is today remembered only for Madhuri swaying to the rhythm of this Nurat Fateh Ali Khan ripoff. Another Saroj-Madhuri song-and-dance that worked when the film didn’t , was Channe ke khet mein in Anjam.Saroj Khan admitted Madhuri and she had their differences, but no one could dance like her. Unko nachaane mein mazaa hi kuch aur ttha!!!

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