Birju Maharaj, Legendary Kathak Guru & Dancer, Passes Away
Kathak Guru Birju Maharaj passed away at the age of 83 at his home late on Sunday. He was 83.
Sources said, Maharaj ji, was playing with his grandsons when his health unexpectedly deteriorated. Further he was taken to hospital where he died of a heart attack.
The living legend of Kathak Birju Maharaj, was also a Hindustani classical singer and percussionist.
Birju Maharaj was the son of the exponent of the Lucknow gharana, Jagannath Maharaj, better known as Acchan Maharaj, whom he lost when he was just nine. His uncles were the renowned Shambhu Maharaj and Lacchu Maharaj.
He had strong relationship with Bollywood.
Maharaj ji, in fact, composed the music and sang for the two period dance pieces in Satyajit Ray’s historical drama ‘Shatranj Ke Khiladi’, starring Sanjeev Kumar, Saeed Jaffery and Amjad Ali Khan.
He choreographed the ‘Kaahe Chhed Mohe’ track picturised on Madhur Dixit in the 2002 version of the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer ‘Devdas’.
And he won the National Award for choreographing ‘Unnai Kaanadhu Naan’ in the Kamal Haasan multi-lingual megahit ‘Vishwaroopam’ and the Filmfare Awards for the Bajirao Mastani number ‘Mohe Rang Do Laal’.
Many Bollywood Personalities pay tributes to Padma Bibhusan Birju Maharaj.
Hema Malini, tweeted: “His ghungroos were on his ankles till he breathed his last. I always admired and respected him as a giant of the medium of Kathak and will miss his presence on the firmament of dance.”
“I learnt ‘DANCE’ means the body but the soul is in the eyes. That’s why he was a Jagat Guru in Kathak,” tweeted Ghai, who’s back in the news for making his debut as music composer for the upcoming film ’36 Farmhouse’.
Adnan Sami said in a tweet: “Extremely saddened by the news about the passing away of Legendary Kathak Dancer Pandit Birju Maharaj ji. We have lost an unparalleled institution in the field of the performing arts. He has influenced many generations through his genius. May he rest in peace.”