Birju Maharaj Expires at 83

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Today’s first post is a sad one – Pandit Birju Maharaj Expires at 83. Born Brijmohan Nath Mishra in a Hindu Brahmin family, Pandit Birju Maharaj was not only an exponent of the classical dance form of Lucknowi Kalka-Bindadin Gharana of Kathak but also a Hindustani classical singer and a music composer.

He gave his first stage performance when he was just 7 and began teaching Kathak when he was just 13. Shambhu Maharaj and Lachhu Maharaj were his uncles and Jagannath Maharaj (Acchan Maharaj) was his father and teacher.

Birju Maharaj lost his father when he was 10. He taught Kathak for several years at some Delhi-based dance institutes like Sangeet Bharati, Bharatiya Kala Kendra, Kathak Kendra, which is a part of Sangeet Natak Academy. Post his retirement as the Head of faculty and Director of Kathak Kala Kendra in 1998, he founded his own dance academy, Kalashram, Delhi.

Pandit Birju Maharaj expired yesterday of a heart attack at his home in Delhi, at the age of 83. He had been suffering from a kidney disease, due to high sugar levels in blood and was on dialysis, for the previous month. He not only contributed to the performing arts field but also worked for Bollywood. I am sharing some Bollywood songs for which he choreographed the dances and even sang a song. I hope you like them.

Birju Maharaj Expires at 83

Bajaye bansuriya Shyam… Shatranj Ke Khilari (1977)

Chabi dikhla ja… Shatranj Ke Khilari (1977)

Hindola jhule Shyam… Shatranj Ke Khilari (1977)

Kanha main tose haari… Shatranj Ke Khilari (1977) This song was also sung by Pandit Birju Maharaj.

Kahe chede mohe… Devdas (2002)

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