Legendary Kathak Dancer Pandit Birju Maharaj Passes Away

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DY365
Published: January 17,2022 10:12 AM
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Legendary Kathak dancer Birju Maharaj has passed away, news agency ANI reported on Monday, citing his relative. He was 83.

January 17, 2022: Legendary Kathak dancer Birju Maharaj has passed away, news agency ANI reported on Monday, citing his relative. He was 83.



According to reports, Birju Maharaj was playing with his grandsons late on Sunday night when his health deteriorated and he became unconscious. He was taken to hospital where he was declared dead.



"He was under treatment for the past month. He had sudden breathlessness at around 12:15-12:30 am last night; we brought him to the hospital within 10 mins, but he passed away," Ragini Maharaj, Birju Maharaj's granddaughter, told ANI.



Birju Maharaj was an exponent of the Kalka-Bindadin Gharana of Lucknow.



Birju Maharaj was a descendant of the Maharaj family of Kathak dancers, which includes his two uncles, Shambhu Maharaj and Lachhu Maharaj, and his father and guru, Acchan Maharaj.



He began performing as a child alongside his father, and became a Guru (Maharaj) in his teens. Birju Maharaj also performed in the durbar of Rampur Nawab.



By the time he was 28, Birju Maharaj's mastery of the dance form had won him the coveted Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.



Known for his perfect rhythm and expressive abhinaya, or gesture language, Birju Maharaj developed his own unique style. He was known as a brilliant choreographer, and he helped popularise dance-dramas.



Birju Maharaj was the recipient of numerous awards for his contributions to the performing arts, including one of the country’s highest civilian honours, the Padma Vibhushan in 1986.