Pandit Birju Maharaj
Brijmohan Mishra, popularly known as Pandit Birju Maharaj, (born 4 February 1938), is an exponent of the Handia (Rikhipur), Allahabad Kalka-Bindadin gharana of Kathak dance in India. He is a descendant of the Maharaj family of Kathak dancers, which includes his two uncles, Shambhu Maharaj and Lachhu Maharaj, and his father and guru, Acchan Maharaj. Even though dancing is his first love, he practices Hindustani classical music and is a vocalist.
After working along with his uncle, Shambhu Maharaj at Bhartiya Kala Kendra, later the Kathak Kendra, New Delhi, he remained head of the latter, for several years, till his retirement in 1998 when he opened his own dance school, Kalashram, also in Delhi.
Early life and background
Birju Maharaj was born in the house of Kathak exponent, Jagannath Maharaj, popularly known as Acchan Maharaj of Lucknow Gharana, who served as court dancer in Raigarh princely state. Birju was trained by his uncles, Lachhu Maharaj and Shambhu Maharaj and his father, and he gave his first recital at the age of seven. On 20 May 1947, his father died when he was nine . After a few years of struggle, his family moved to Delhi.
Awards and honours
Birju Maharaj has won many accolades, including Padma Vibhushan in 1986, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and the Kalidas Samman. He also received honorary Doctorate degrees from Banaras Hindu University(Varanasi) and Khairagarh University.
Filmfare Award for Best Choreography for song 'Mohe Rang Do Laal' from 'Bajirao Mastani' in 2016.
He was the recipient of the Lata Mangeshkar Puraskaar in 2002.
Bharat Muni Sammaan
2012 National Film Award for Best Choreography: Vishwaroopam (2012)
2016 Filmfare award: Bajirao Mastani (Best choreography)
2017 *Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Choreographer- Vishwaroopam (2013)
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