Brijmohan Mishra, popularly known as Pandit Birju Maharaj is a name synonymous with Kathak. The Padma Vibhushan recipient passes in Delhi at the age of 83. Born in the house of Kathak exponent Jagannath Maharaj, better known as Acchan Maharaj, Birju Maharaj started performing from the age of seven. He inherited the legacy of Kathak — from his grandfather to father and then to him. The Kathak veteran said he moved to Delhi after his father’s demise and started teaching Kathak to support his family at the age of 13.
The house on Gwynne Road, where he trained under the watchful eyes of Acchan Maharaj and his uncles Shambhu and Lachhu Maharaj, is now a Kathak museum. The “Kalka-Bindadin ki Dyodhi” is named after Birju Maharaj’s grandfather and his brother, who are considered pioneers in establishing the Lucknow gharana. Dances in films such as Mughal-e-Azam and Pakeezah were choreographed by his uncle Lachhu Maharaj. Pandit Birju Maharaj himself gave many memorable songs to Bollywood. Remembering the Kathak maestro, here are popular film songs choreographed by him.
Dil Toh Pagal Hain Instrumental Kathak Dance
Aan Milo Sajana – Gadar: Ek Prem Katha
Kahe Chhed Mohe – Devdas
Main Radha Tu Shaam – Vishwaroop
Apne Karar Mein – Dedh Ishqiya
Mohe Rang Do Laal – Bajirao Mastani