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Legendary Kathak dancer Pandit Birju Maharaj passes away

Kathak maestro Pandit Birju Maharaj has passed away. He was 83 when he breathed his last.

The news of his demise was confirmed by one of his relatives.

It is being learned that Pandit Birju Maharaj had suffered a heart attack in the wee hours of Monday.

Pandit Birju Maharaj’s grandson Swaransh Mishra, too, shared the unfortunate news on his social media.

Apart from being a renowned Kathak dancer, Pandit Birju Maharaj was also a well-known classical singer and had lent his voice to several films.

He was born as Brij Mohan Nath Mishra on February 4, 1937 in a well-known Kathak dancing family. Besides father Achchan Maharaj and uncles Shambhu and Lachchu Maharaj, he was shaped by the influence of Bindadeen 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.

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