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Birju Maharaj: Industry colleagues remember Kathak ‘giant’, ‘rare artiste’


Pandit Birju Maharaj. Instagram


New Delhi/Mumbai, January 17

Condolence messages poured in from all quarters for legendary Kathak dancer Birju Maharaj. The movie fraternity and folks from the performing arts world remembered Kathak’s ideal ambassador.

Maharaj-ji, as he used to be popularly known, died at his dwelling in New Delhi within the early hours of Monday. He would had been 84 subsequent month.

According to his granddaughter, Ragini Maharaj, the Kathak maestro died surrounded by his family and disciples. They were taking half in ‘antakshari’ after dinner when he with out warning fell in heart-broken health.

The Kathak exponent, certainly one of India’s easiest known artistes, had been tormented by a kidney ailment and used to be undergoing dialysis therapy. He doubtlessly died of a cardiac arrest, his granddaughter said.

“We took him to effectively being facility exact now but shall we now no longer set up him,” she said.

Actor Madhuri Dixit, who trained below Birju Maharaj and most memorably performed ‘Devdas’ tune ‘Kaahe chhede mohe’ below his guidance, said he used to be a memoir but had a “childlike innocence”. “He used to be my guru but additionally my friend. He taught me the intricacies of dance and ‘Abhinay’ but never didn’t originate me snicker at his comical anecdotes.

“He has left within the support of grieving fans and college students but additionally left a legacy we are in a position to all carry ahead. Thank you Maharajji for all the pieces you taught me in dance alongside side humility, class and charm,” Dixit tweeted.

Actor and BJP MP Hema Malini, who’s additionally a trained Bharatanatyam dancer, took to Twitter and penned an emotional fee on Birju Maharaj’s death.

“The nation mourns the passing of an valid memoir, Shri Birju Maharaj, Kathak exponent par excellence. His ghungroos were on his ankles till he breathed his closing. I continuously admired and revered him as an extensive of the medium of Kathak and might maybe well additionally dawdle over his presence on the firmament of dance,” the 73-year-outdated actor wrote.

Filmmaker Hansal Mehta in a tweet paid his homage to Birju Maharaj, calling him “certainly one of Kathak’s ideal ambassadors”.

Director Anil Sharma worked with Birju Maharaj for his blockbuster partition drama ‘Gadar: Ek Prem Katha’ and recalled how the maestro used to be overjoyed to choreograph a thumri within the 2001 movie titled ‘Chanda Aaye Taare Aaye’.

Sharma instructed PTI that he used to be desperate to collaborate with the susceptible once more on ‘Gadar 2’ but this might maybe now “remain lawful a dream”.

“He had distinctive artistry and a imaginative and prescient to pull it off. When I went to fulfill him for essentially the most important time in Delhi, he used to be so enraged. He heard the total memoir of the movie and when he cherished it, he then heard the tune. He would now and again work in movies but he used to be overjoyed to choreograph for us.”

Pale actor Kamal Haasan, who trained below the maestro for his movie ‘Vishwaroopam’ tune ‘Unnai Kaanaathu’, remembered Birju Maharaj as an “unparalleled dancer”. The Kathak memoir used to be honoured with the Nationwide Movie Award for easiest choreography for the tune.

Director Sudhir Mishra said the susceptible used to be deservedly called “extensive” as his mastery used to be unparalleled.

“The observe extensive is extremely loosely thrown around. He in actuality used to be a extensive artiste. In his art produce, he used to be as appropriate as anybody on this planet. Kathak has lost its finest exponent. Om Shanti,” the filmmaker tweeted.

Sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan said the passing away of Birju Maharaj used to be a non-public loss for him.

“The passing away of Pandit Birju Maharaj marks the pause of an generation for Indian dance and Kathak. For me or now no longer it’s been a non-public loss. He used to be cherished immensely by my family and his memories dwell in our hearts perpetually. The heavens will dance for him recently and each day! Might maybe presumably well presumably also he RIP,” he wrote alongside a image with the Kathak memoir taking half within the tabla with him on the sarod.

Kuchipudi exponent Raja Reddy said, “I am very sad. I know Birju Maharaj since 70s. When we (Raja Reddy and his accomplice Radha Reddy) came to Delhi first time, he used to be there within the Kathak Kendra, instructing and performing… He dedicated his complete life for the Kathak dance.”

Singer Durga Jasraj, daughter of the leisurely Pandit Jasraj, called his death “a large loss to Indian performing arts”.

Dancer Geeta Chandran said, “His contribution to the realm of dance is indeed ancient, and might maybe well additionally certainly be carried ahead by his completely superior tribe of disciples and college students. Loss certain. Nonetheless additionally hope within the truth that he has lit many lamps that will proceed to spread the light.”


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