Birju Maharaj

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Birju Maharaj is one of the best Kathak dancers in the world. He is a master of the Kalka-Bindadin gharana of Kathak dance. The young Briju Maharaj was born into a family where his father, Jagannath Maharaj, was a well-known Kathak dancer. He was destined to follow in his father’s footsteps and become one of India’s best Kathak dancers. He was smart from a young age. As a toddler, he was already reciting difficult tihais and tukras. When the boy’s father saw how smart he was, he started training him. Birju Maharaj was a very eager student who decided early on to spend his life working to improve the Kathak dance style. When his father died too soon, it was a huge blow to the boy. But his talented uncles kept teaching him, and when he was 13, he started teaching dance at the Sangeet Bharti in New Delhi. He became well-known as a dance teacher very quickly. He eventually became the Head of Faculty and director at the Kathak Kendra, which is part of the Sangeet Natak Akademi. He retired from this job in 1998. After he retired, he started his own dance school called Kalashram. He has also put together the dance moves for some Kathak dance scenes in Bollywood movies.

Early years and childhood

Brijmohan Mishra, also known as Pandit Birju Maharaj, was born on February 4, 1938, in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India, to a family of well-known Kathak dancers. His father, Jagannath Maharaj, was a dancer at the court of the princely state of Raigarh. He was known as Acchan Maharaj of Lucknow Gharana. He came from the famous family of Kathak dancers called the Maharaj’s.

Birju Maharaj was young when he fell in love with the art of dancing. As a child, he used to perform with his father, whom he looked up to. He went to Kanpur, Allahabad, Gorakhpur, Jaunpur, Dehradun, Madhubani, Kolkata, and Mumbai with his father, who played music at musical conferences all over India.

When Birju was only nine years old, his beloved father died. This was a terrible thing for the family. Then he started training with his uncles Shambhu and Lacchu Maharaj, who were both well-known dance masters.

Soon, he had his own style, which was a mix of his uncles’ and his father’s. People think that he got his precise footwork and the way he moves his face and neck from his father and that he got his styled, fluid movements from his uncles.

Birju Maharaj’s Career

Birju Maharaj taught dance at the Sangeet Bharti in New Delhi when he was just 13 years old. In the end, he moved to Delhi to work at the Bharatiya Kala Kendra. After a few years, he started teaching at the Sangeet Natak Akademi’s Kathak Kendra, where he was Head of Faculty and director.

In 1998, he stopped working at the Kathak Kendra and started his own dance school, Kalashram. As a dance teacher, he thinks it’s important to keep learning. He thinks that classical dance is one way to connect with God. So, we call it a sadhana.

He thinks that a dancer who can sing and knows enough about musical instruments will add a lot to his art. A dancer also needs to meditate and do yoga. Kathak dance requires a lot of control over your breath, strength, and stamina.

He is a well-known choreographer, and he has also done work in Bollywood movies. He wrote the music and sang for two dance scenes in Satyajit Ray’s “Shatranj Ke Khilari.” He has also choreographed Kathak dance scenes in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s “Dedh Ishqiya” “Umrao Jaan” and “Bajirao Mastani.”

Besides being a dancer and choreographer, he is also a skilled singer who is known for his thumris and dadras (forms of classical vocal music). He can also play both the tabla and the violin well.

Works of note

Birju Maharaj is the best dancer in the Lucknow Kalka-Bindadin gharana of Kathak dance. He also started the dance school Kalashram in Delhi, which trains people in Kathak and related dance styles. At the school, he choreographs new performances using traditional rules. He wants to show the audience that classical style can be very appealing, interesting, and dignified.

Awards & Achievements

In 1986, Birju Maharaj was given the Padma Vibhushan award.
He has also been given the Kalidas Samman and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.
He was given the Lata Mangeshkar Puraskaar in 2002.

Personal History and Legacies

Birju Maharaj is the father of two sons and three daughters. Mamta Maharaj, Deepak Maharaj, and Jai Kishan Maharaj, three of his children, are also well-known Kathak dancers in their own right.

Estimated Net worth

Birju is one of the wealthiest choreographers, and he is also on the list of the most popular choreographers. Based on what we know and what Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider say, Birju Maharaj’s net worth is about $10 million.