Bollywood pays homage to dance guru Birju Maharaj

By Express News Service

Kathak legend Birju Maharaj passed away following a heart attack on Sunday in Delhi. He was 83. An exponent of the Lucknow gharana, Birju Maharaj taught and popularized Kathak dance across the world.

He composed and sang for two dance sequences in Satyajit Ray’s Shatranj ke Khilari (1977). He also composed and choreographed the song, ‘Kaahe Chhed Mohe’, in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas. It was picturised on Madhuri Dixit.

Birju Maharaj won the National Award for choreographing ‘Unnai Kaanadhu Naan’ in the Kamal Haasan-starrer ‘Vishwaroopam’ and a Filmfare Award for the Bajirao Mastani track ‘Mohe Rang Do Laal’.

Several personalities mourned Birju Maharaj’s demise on Twitter. Filmmaker Subhash Ghai tweeted that he first learned from Maharaj ji during a college festival.

“My first learning from kathak dance maestro was in my college youth festival when he expressed a romantic conversation between lord krishna n radha thru his two eyes talking. I learnt ‘DANCE means body but soul is in eyes. That’s y he was a Jagat guru in kathak. RIP BIRJU SIR,” Subhash wrote.

Actor-politician 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.”

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