Madhuri Dixit had exquisite dancing skills. From western steps and Indian moves to fusion sequences, she impressed with her versatility, agility and grace. Narendra Kusnur picks ten unforgettable sequences.
A brilliant actress and one of the most beautiful heroines in Indian cinema, Madhuri Dixit was also known for her dancing skills. From western steps and Indian moves to fusion sequences, she impressed with her versatility, agility and grace. Her early training in Kathak surely helped.
On the eve of her 54th birthday on May 15, we chose 10 of Madhuri’s best dance numbers. A good number were choreographed by Saroj Khan, and their teamwork was extraordinary. The interesting thing was that while this list as more songs by Lata Mangeshkar and Alka Yagnik, it also features songs by Kavita Krishnamurthy, Anupama Deshpande and Poornima.
The choices here are all group songs with multiple dancers, large crowds or lavish sets. There are no duets, and the order is chronological.
1 Ek Do Teen – Tezaab (1988)
Though Madhuri had already been noticed in the Dayavan duet ‘Aaj Phir Tum Pe’, it was ‘Ek Do Teen’ in Tezaab that made her a craze. Beginning with the ‘Mohini’ chant, it was also a huge hit for singer Alka Yagnik, and Madhuri’s dance in front of a crowd got a terrific response. Music was by Laxmikant-Pyarelal and lyrics by Javed Akhtar, with choreography by Saroj Khan.
2 Bada Dukh Dina – Ram Lakhan (1989)
Another song wonderfully choreographed by Khan, it featured a dance by Madhuri, with Jackie Shroff, Dimple Kapadia and Amrish Puri looking on. Sung by Lata Mangeshkar, it was composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal, with Anand Bakshi writing, “Bada dukh dina, mere Lakhan ne”, the Lakhan reference being to Anil Kapoor’s character.
3 Humko Aajkal Hai Intezaar – Sailaab (1990)
The song became known for Saroj Khan’s choreography, and was picturised on fishermen and fisherwomen. Anupama Deshpande sang Bappi Lahiri’s tune, and Javed Akhtar wrote, “Humko aajkal hai intezaar, koi aaye leke pyaar”. Madhuri was in traditional Maharashtrian attire and the dance was inspired by the lavni.
4 Tu Shaayar Hai – Saajan (1991)
Music directors Nadeem-Shravan were in great form at this time, and this song added to their list of superhits. Sung by Alka Yagnik, it featured Madhuri in a dance sequence, with Sanjay Dutt in some shots. Lyricist Sameer wrote, “Tu shaayar hai, main teri shaayari, tu aashiq hai, main teri aashiqi, tujhe milne ko dil karta hai, o mere saajna”.
5 Choli Ke Peeche – Khalnayak (1993)
The song attracted controversy because of its lyrics, written by Anand Bakshi, but Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s tune sung by Alka Yagnik and Ila Arun was a huge hit. Khan got Madhuri Dixit, Neena Gupta and Rajasthani folk dancers to do some amazing steps with Sanjay Dutt watching.
6 Chane Ke Khet Mein – Anjaam (1994)
Shah Rukh Khan played the bad hero those days, and was relatively new to stardom. Madhuri was already a big star, and the two combined beautifully. This song, sung by Poornima with chorus, was composed by Anand-Milind. Lyricist Sameer showed a hint of naughtiness in his lines which talked of the experiences of an 18-year-old girl.
7 Didi Tera Devar Deewana – Hum Aapke Hain Koun.. (1994)
A feel-good song in a wedding setting, this featured Madhuri, Salman Khan, Renuka Shahane and others. Sung by Lata and S.P. Balasubramaniam with a large chorus, it was composed by Raam Laxman. Dev Kohli wrote lines like “Didi tera devar deewana, haaye Ram kudiyon ko daale dana”.
8 Mera Piya Ghar Aaya – Yaraana (1995)
The Madhuri-Saroj Khan combination worked wonders again. Though Anu Malik’s tune rehashed a Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan song, the number is known for both western and Indian dance. Kavita Krishnamurthy sang with chorus accompaniment, and Maya Govind was credited with the lyrics. Fans rate this among Madhuri’s best dance numbers.
9 Arre Re Arre – Dil To Pagal Hai (1997)
Shah Rukh Khan and Madhuri do a marvellous dance sequence in this song, sung by Udit Narayan and Lata. The picturisation mixed group shots with duet settings. Music was by Uttam Singh, with lyrics by Anand Bakshi. The film also had an instrumental dance number ‘The Dance Of Envy’, featuring Madhuri and Karisma Kapoor.
10 Dola Re Dola – Devdas (2002)
Madhuri played and Kavita Krishnamurthy sang for Chandramukhi to Aishwarya Rai’s Paro, voiced by Shreya Ghoshal, in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s adaptation of Devdas. The two put up an incredible dance performance choreographed by Saroj Khan. Music was by Ismail Darbar, with Nusrat Badr writing the words.
In 2019, Madhuri Dixit and Saroj Khan teamed up on the Kalank song ‘Tabaah Ho Gaye’, sung by Shreya Ghoshal, composed by Pritam and written by Amitabh Bhattacharya. Sadly the film bombed, and the song didn’t take off beyond a point.
Besides dance hits, Madhuri had many popular solo and duet numbers like ‘Tum Se MIlke’ in Parinda, ‘Mujhe Neend Na Aaye’ in Dil, ‘Dhak Dhak’ and ‘Koyal Si Teri Boli’ in Beta, and the Dil To Paga Hail title track. That would make another list, some other time.