Pandit Birju Maharaj died at his Delhi home from heart attack. He was 83 years old and had several health complications. He had kidney problems and used to get dialysis treatment.
He was receiver of India’s second highest civilian order, Padma Vibhushan. His followers and students used to call him Maharaj ji and Pandit Ji.
According to recent reports, he was playing with his grandsons on Sunday night when suddenly his health started deteriorating and he became unconscious. He was immediately taken to the hospital where he was declared dead.
Ragini Maharaj, his granddaughter told ANI, “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.”
Early Life Of Pandit Birju Maharaj
Brij Mohan Nath Mishra was born in 1938 in Lucknow Kalka-Bindadin Gharana of Kathak. He came from Maharaj family of Kathak dancers. His father Acchan Maharaj was his guru and his uncles Lachhu Maharaj and Shambhu Maharaj were famous Kathak dancers.
Career Of Pandit Birju Maharaj
Maharaj started teaching the dance form at the age of thirteen, at the Sangeet Bharti in New Delhi. He then taught at the Bharatiya Kala Kendra in Delhi, and at the Kathak Kendra (a unit of the Sangeet Natak Akademi) where he was Head of Faculty, and director, retiring in 1998. After which he opened his own dance school, Kalashram, also in Delhi. He composed the music, and sang, for two dance sequences in the Satyajit Ray’s Shatranj Ke Khiladi, and choreographed the song Kaahe Chhed Mohe from the 2002 film version of novel Devdas.
Awards & Honours
- 1964: Sangeet Natak Akademi Award
- 1986: Padma Vibhushan
- 1986: Nritya Choodamani Award
- 1987: Kalidas Samman
- 2002: Lata Mangeshkar Puraskar
- 2012: National Film Award for Best Choreography (Vishwaroopam)
- 2016: Filmfare Award for Best Choreography (Bajirao Mastani)