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From Madhuri to Deepika, Pandit Birju Maharaj has taught many dance queens




Legendary classical dance master Pandit Birju Maharaj passed away today, leaving a huge void in the world of not only Kathak dance, but Indian dance in general. The revered artist was a pioneer of Kathak in India and even helped bring it to the big screen.

It’s no surprise, then, that many celebrities have taken to social media to mourn his loss. Janhvi Kapoor, who loves to dance like her mother, Sridevi, took to Instagram to post a picture with him. She also posted several photos of him in her Instagram stories.

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Shilpa Shetty, also famous for her dancing, wrote a tribute to the icon.

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The most moving tribute, however, came from extraordinary dancer, Madhuri Dixit, which he had described as his favorite, telling The era of India, Madhuri Dixit is one of my favorites. She treats me like a guru. To this day she calls me and asks me when am I coming to Mumbai. She also asks me to hang out with her whenever I’m in town.

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Madhuri took to Twitter to write an ode to her teacher, saying: He was my guru but also my friend. He left behind grieving fans and students, but he also left a legacy that we will all carry on. Thank you Maharaji for everything you taught me to dance with humility, elegance and grace.

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For the uninitiated, Madhuri collaborated with Pandit Birju Maharaj to Devdas. Although there are many great choreographers in India, Bollywood has always looked to him when it comes to creating a special performance based on the classic in a film. Let’s take a few of them.

Madhuri didn’t work with him once, but three times!

Video credit: YRF via YouTube

Everyone remembers Madhuris Kahe Ched Mohe dance of Devdas like the great moment of collaboration between her and Birju Maharaj. But Madhuri had also worked with him in Yash Chopras Dil Toh Pagal Hai, and Abhishek Choubeys Dedh Ichqiya.

Did you know that Deepika Padukones Mohe Rang Do Laal was choreographed by him?

Video credit: Eros Now Music via YouTube

Sanjay Leela Bhansali got the icon to choreograph another dance for one of her movies. As a result, Deepika Padukone had the honor of being trained by him for Mohé Rang Do Laal from Bajirao Mastani.

Pandit Birju Maharaj was responsible for some iconic numbers in Umrao Jaan

Image credit: Embedded Films, SK Jain & Sons

The iconic Rekha also worked with him for his film, Umrao Jaan, for which he choreographed a few numbers. As we all know, this movie redefined the mujara dance form forever.

Alia Bhatt took lessons from him for her dances in Kalank

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Although he may not have choreographed songs for Kalank, Alia sought his guidance while preparing for the dance of Ghar More Pardesiya, which required him to master classical dance. She took to Instagram to pay her respects today.

He even worked with the iconic Satyajit Ray!

Pandit Birju Maharaj has choreographed songs for the legendary filmmakers film, Shatranj Ke Khiladi, too much.

Apart from these films, he has choreographed dances for Ameesha Patel and Sunny Deols Gadar, as well as Muzzaffar Alis Pernia Qureshi starring, Jaanisaar. Clearly, his passing left a huge hole in India’s art and culture world, both inside and outside of Bollywood.

Main image credit: BCCL, Mega Bollywood, Amber Entertainment, Bhansali Productions




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