Fri, 01 Feb 2008 19:23:42 GMT

Saroj Khan: The dancing diva…

Nach Baliye Season III did not have her on the judges panel. And before the rumour mills could go on an overdrive, she announced 'Nachle Ve', a one of a kind dance show on the newly launched NDTV Imagine. And, when we say, one of kind, it does ring in a different tone.

Saroj Khan on 'Nachle Ve'

The dancing diva…in an exclusive tete a tete with Meenakshi Shankar.

For one, you have the diva of the jhatakas and matka's, Saroj Khan, teaching you and me – how to dance! And, she starts this interview with, "Anybody can dance! And the saying – two left feet! It's just a mere saying! If you have two left feet, then, I'll teach you to dance with your eyes or your hands!"

And her show's a hit! 71 episodes in the can and 50 more on the roll – Saroj Khan's back with a bang on the small screen!

Why 'Nachle Ve'…it's another dance show! And we thought after 'Nach Baliye', you swore off dance shows!

'Nach Baliye' was an experience, because we made non dancers put on their dancing shoes. But, when Rakhi Sawant and Kashmeera Shah walked in, I did not believe in the concept…it wasn't ethical to be on a show which had trained dancers in it. I walked out and with me followed Malaika and Farhan. And 'Nachle Ve' is a unique concept… I love the idea that this platform's helping the Indian woman shed her inhibitions. 


Yes, there have been so many instances in our Indian festivities, where I see women tapping their feet to the music, their soul's dancing, but there is something which is holding them back. My show's a revolution of a kind, if I may say so!  A 57 year old trained Bharatnatyam dancer is back on the stage performing, after 30 years. ..and I teach her the moves which would bode well with her age.

I teach my 21 years old that the jhatakas and matkas are not everything. You can sway your body to a sensuous beat with your fingers and your eyes! A twirl of your ghagra or a flick of your dupatta – and lo behold, it's a dance movement which would have its results.

We don't see Saroj Khan as often as we used to

You do see me, but I've stopped saying this is my work. I think everyone now knows what is a Saroj Khan production and otherwise. I'm 60 years old and I love to dance; earlier I did it because it was my bread and butter, I do it now, because I love it. But the end result's the same.  The industry knows me well enough to know the quality that's produced. And we are in an industry, which will touch you with a ten feet barge pole only if you are good!

Lobbying for the YashRaj Banner…

I don't believe in it! But, then, that does not stop me from saying that it does not happen.  What I see is plagiarism and it's not healthy.  And if anybody does say that I'm not cut out for the current trends, well, then they should actually start putting on their dancing shoes and work on their moves.

On the plate…

'Mughal e Azam', 'Zindagi Tere Sang' and a few other big banners which are under production. There's enough and more work to keep me going.

With the who's who dancing to your tunes, would'nt you like to produce a musical…a whole new genre, a la Aaja Naachle.

With mischief dancing in her eyes, she says, "I believe in the saying – do what you are best at! I'm a choreographer! I am very good at making people dance. And I dance to my own tunes! Why play with role reversal and get into a whole new set of complications!" And she promptly moved to my next question…

Indian dancing…

The best and the most sensuous form of art! The base for all dance forms  – be it salsa, hip hop, waltz, cha – I insist that my students don't give up our dance form. Little do they realise that its our dance form that's got all the westerners swinging. Just like Sa Re Ga Ma forms the base to Do Re Me Fa…the same way our twirls and hand movements form the base to the western steps.


Are you kidding me! I would dance till the last breath in me. It's a passion…not work. How can someone retire from their passion? Can a mother stop loving her child because she's old…that's the way dance is to me…its my child. So, lookout, because this dancing diva is still on the roll.

I must admit, for a diva who's made the who's who of our Bollywood dance to her tunes, she's unassuming and down to earth…her success has still kept her rooted. She still addresses her spot boys and her assistants with terms of endearment…but then, they know when things don't go her way, she's a force to reckon with, just like every powerful individual. She epitomises grace, she brings beauty to dance, she makes people wish that they could dance…and her latest show, we agree, is a tad bit different than the mushrooming celebrity shows.

Source: Telly Watch

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