04 FEBRUARY PANDIT BIRJU MAHARAJ (1938 to 2022)
Born on 04 February 1938 in Handia (Prayagraj district) in present-day Uttar Pradesh, Pandit Birju Maharaj was an Indian dancer, composer, singer, and exponent of the Lucknow Kalka-Bindadin Gharana of Kathak dance in India. A descendant of the Maharaj family of Kathak, he went on to master the nuances of arguably one of the most difficult Indian classical dance forms. He gave his first performance when he was only 7 years old. It was his constant attempt to elevate Kathak dance that drew the world’s attention towards him. Known for his facial expressions and quick foot movements, Pandit Birju Maharaj is considered to be the epitome of Kathak. His mastery of Kathak won him numerous awards: The Padma Vibhushan, Sangeet Natak Akademi, Kalidas Samman, and The National Film Award, among others. Pandit Birju Maharaj passed away on 17 January 2022.
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