Kathak legend Pandit Birju Maharaj passed away at his home here in the early hours of Monday, leaving a void in the field of Indian classical dance. Actress Madhuri Dixit is among the few artistes from Indian cinema who had the opportunity of working with Pandit Birju Maharaj. The legend had choreographed her in songs for Devdas and Dedh Ishqiya.
Paying tribute to Maharaj on social media, Madhuri said, “He was a legend but had a child like innocence. He was my guru but also my friend. He taught me the intricacies of dance and Abhinay but never failed to make me laugh at his funny anecdotes. He has left behind grieving fans and students but also left a legacy we will all carry forward. Thank you Maharajji for everything you taught me in dance along with humility, elegance and grace.”
For Kahe Chhed Mohe, Maharaj wrote the lyrics, composed the music, and choreographed the entire song beautifully. The dance represents the portrayal of bhaav in the truest sense. Speaking of Madhuri, Maharaj said on one occasion, “She has the bhav and bhavana in her eyes and grace in her movements.”
Actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan, who had worked with Maharaj in the film Vishwaroopam, also tweeted in his memory.
ஈடு இணையற்ற நடனக் கலைஞரான பண்டிட் பிர்ஜூ மகராஜ் மறைந்தார்.ஓர் ஏகலைவனைப் போல பல்லாண்டுகள் தொலைவிலிருந்து அவதானித்தும்,விஸ்வரூபம் படத்திற்காக அருகிருந்தும் நான் கற்றுக்கொண்டவை ஏராளம்.இசைக்கும் நாட்டியத்திற்கும் தன் ஆயுளை அர்ப்பணித்துக்கொண்டவரே, ‘உன்னை காணாது நான் இன்று நானில்லையே’ pic.twitter.com/WC9bTUkjE2
— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) January 17, 2022
Singer Anup Jalota shared several photos with the Kathak legend and said, “Pt Birju Maharaj ji has left this world. Very big loss to our family and the world. No one can replace him.”
Pt Birju Maharaj ji has left this world. Very big loss to our family and the world. No one can replace him. pic.twitter.com/WqLIXjjtqZ
— Anup Jalota (@anupjalota) January 17, 2022
Kareena Kapoor Khan piad tribute to the artiste in her Instagram stories:
Birju Maharaj had choreographed songs for several Hindi films over the years, including Shatranj Ke Khilari and Umrao Jaan.