Pandit Birju Maharaj, the legendary Kathak dancer, passed away early on Monday, according to a family member. He was 83 years old when he died.
The Kathak performer, one of India’s most well-known artists, has been undergoing dialysis therapy due to a kidney problem. His granddaughter speculated that he died of heart arrest.
“Maharaj Ji,” as he was affectionately known, passed away surrounded by his family and followers. After dinner, they were playing ‘antakshari’ when he became ill. “We rushed him to the hospital, but we were unable to save him,” she stated.
Pandit Birju Maharaj was a member of Lucknow’s Kalka-Bindadin Gharana. In 1984, Pandit Birju Maharaj was awarded the Padma Bibhushan, India’s second-highest civil distinction, for his services to the world of dance.
Birju Maharaj was a master vocalist who could do Thumri, Dadra, Bhajan, and Ghazal.
He was a brilliant storyteller, weaving episodes from his life into his performances in order to engage the audience. He was also intensely observant, and he usually had something to say about everyday events, amusing those around him with realistic impersonations and colourful descriptions.
“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,” singer Adnan Sami tweeted.
Subhash Ghai, Ashoke Pandit and others also mourned the Kathak’s legend demise.