Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Birju Maharaj Death: Kamal Haasan Calls Him ‘Unparalleled Dancer,’ Celebs From Film Fraternity React On His Demise

Legendary Kathak dancer Birju Maharaj died on Monday at the age of 83. On social media, celebs from the Indian film industry paid respect to him.

Birju Maharaj Death: Kamal Haasan Calls Him ‘Unparalleled Dancer,’ Celebs From Film Fraternity React On His Demise
Birju Maharaj Twitter

Birju Maharaj, a legendary Kathak performer who brought ancient Indian dance art to the globe, died on Monday. He was 83 years old when he died. Several Bollywood celebs and fans expressed their sorrow after his death was announced on his social media platform by his granddaughter Ragini Maharaj.

Kamal Haasan shared a throwback picture of himself when he was trained by the legendary Birju Maharaj. He called him “the unparalleled dancer.” Choreographer-turned-filmmaker Farah Khan was also among the firsts to react to Maharaj’s passing away. “The world loses a genuine stalwart,” she mentioned via Twitter.

“We've lost a peerless dancer like Pandit Birju Maharaj. For several years, I learned from him, from a distance, as Ekalavya did.. then I got to learn from him in person for the film Vishwaroopam. ‘Without you insight, I'm not who I am”, tweeted the actor in Tamil.

Hema Malini, an actor and politician, was one of the first to pay respect to the late dancer. “The nation mourns the passing of a true legend, Shri Birju Maharaj, Kathak exponent par excellence. His ghungroos were on his ankles till he breathed his last. I always admired and respected him as a giant of the medium of Kathak & will miss his presence on the firmament of dance,” on Twitter, the actor, who is also a qualified Bharatnatyam dancer, revealed the news. Her daughter, Esha Deol, later took to Twitter to say that the classical dancer had died, she said “an inspiration for generations to come.”

Here are some of the other reactions from celebs on his death:


A post shared by Ishaan (@ishaankhatter)

His death, according to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is a "irreparable loss" to the whole art world. “Deeply saddened by the demise of Pandit Birju Maharaj ji, who gave Indian dance a special recognition world over. His passing is an irreparable loss to the entire art world. My condolences to his family and fans in this hour of grief,” the prime minister said.

Sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan shared a throwback picture with Birju Maharaj. He said his passing away “marks the end of an era for Indian dance and Kathak.” “For me it’s been a personal loss. He was loved immensely by my family and his memories live in our hearts forever. The heavens will dance for him today and everyday,” he shared.

Maharaj-Ji, as he was affectionately known, passed away in the company of his family and disciples. Ragini Maharaj, his granddaughter, told PTI, “He was with us when this happened. He had his dinner and we were playing antakshari because he loved old music. He was lying down and suddenly his breathing became uneven. We think it was cardiac arrest as he was also a heart patient. This happened between 12.15 and 12.30 am. It must have been just a minute or so. We rushed to the hospital but unfortunately, we could not save him. He died before reaching the hospital.”