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Birju Maharaj, the legend of Kathak dance in India, has died at the age of 83 Art and Culture News

Maharaj – an icon of Indian classical dance – received Padma Vibhushan, India’s second largest civilian award.

Birju Maharaj is the legend of Indian classical dance and one of the most famous performing artists in the country. He was 83 years old.

Maharaj was suffering from kidney disease and was on dialysis and was probably killed by a heart attack, his grandson Ragini Maharaj told the Press Trust of India news agency on Monday.

Many of his fans, known as Maharaj Ji, considered him an icon of the Indian classical dance Kathak and received the Padma Vibhushan Award, the second largest civil award in India.

Katha was born into a family of famous dancers and trained under her uncle and father Acchan Maharaj before she gave her first performance at the age of seven.

Birju Maharaj teaches students in his studio in New Delhi [File: John Moore/AP]

Katha uses dance and facial expressions to help tell a story, with lots of dance pieces inspired by ancient Indian epics.

Maharaja was known for his lively facial expressions and light foot movements, accompanied by the sound of bells ringing on his ankles. He was often inspired by his life in his performances and was a skilled storyteller.

He was also a renowned teacher at Kathak and taught students at some of the most important dance organizations in the country. In the late 1990s, Maharajah opened his own dance school in Kalashram, the capital of New Delhi.

In a tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “very sad” and that his death was “an irreparable loss to the whole world of art”.

“Very few artists have been as good as performers and teachers. Maharaj Ji certainly scaled new heights in both roles, ”Indian classical dancer Geeta Chandran posted on Facebook.

“His contribution to the world of dance is historic, and he will certainly lead a completely amazing tribe of his students and students.”

“We have lost an unparalleled organization in the performing arts. He has been influenced by his genius for many generations, ”said singer Adnan Sami.

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