- Birju Maharaj passed away after suffering a heart attack
- Brijmohan Mishra, fondly called Pandit-ji or Maharaj-ji by his students
- Birju Maharaj was the son of the exponent of the Lucknow gharana
Brijmohan Mishra, popularly known as Pandit Birju Maharaj passes away after suffering a heart attack. the legendary Kathak dancer was among the most famous artists across the world. As soon a the news of Birj Maharaj's death surfaced, celebs and fans took to social media to mourn his passing.
Singer Adnan Sami was among the first to share a post on social media remembering him. "Extremely saddened by the news about the passing away of Legendary Kathak Dancer- Pandit Birju Maharaj ji. We have lost an unparalleled institution in the field of the performing arts. He has influenced many generations through his genius. May he rest in peace. #BirjuMaharaj," he wrote. Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit too shared a note for the veteran dancer.
"Sad to know about the demise of kathak legend & vocalist Padma Vibhushan Pandit #birjumaharaj ji after suffering a heart attack in Delhi. Its an end of an era . My heartfelt condolences to his family & near ones .." he tweeted.
Actress Madhuri Dixit, BJP MP and actor Hema Malini, filmmaker Hansal Mehta, veteran actor Kamal Haasan and saroj maestro Amjad Ali Khan also remembered Birju Maharaj for his contribution in their respective lives and careers.
Brijmohan Mishra, popularly known as Pandit Birju Maharaj, was from the Lucknow Kalka-Bindadin gharana of Kathak dance in India. He was a descendant of the Maharaj family of Kathak dancers. His two uncles, Shambhu Maharaj and Lachhu Maharaj, and his father and guru, Acchan Maharaj are also patrons of the field. Birju Maharaj was also known for Hindustani classical music and as a vocalist.
He gave his first recital at the age of seven. On 20 May 1947, his father died when he was nine. 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. He composed the music, and sang, for two dance sequences in the Satyajit Ray's Shatranj ke Khilari, and choreographed the song Kaahe Chhed Mohe from the 2002 film version of novella Devdas.