Birju Maharaj

Brijmohan Maharaj, popularly and affectionately called Birju Maharaj, the doyen of Kathak dance, is the son of Achchan Maharaj. He was trained in his early life by his father, but lost him at the age of only ten. Thereafter be received training from his two uncles, viz , Luchchu Maharaj and Shambhu Maharaj. Birju is the worthy son of the worthy father. He gave his first public performance at Dehra Dun at the age of seven, and was highly acclaimed by the dance-connoisseurs.  

He is not only an accomplished dancer of the first order and brought a revolution in Kathak by composing new types of Tukras, Parana, ballets and other compositions, and bringing novelty in presentation, but also an expert Thumii singer, a Pakhawaj, Tabla and Nus player.  

He had settled down at New Delhi. He accepted a job as a dance teacher at Sangit Bharati at New Delhi. He composed ballets, like Phag Lila, Kumar Samabhavam, Govardhan Lila, Malati Madhav, Shan-E-Awadh etc with his uncle, which were highly appreciated by the public. He is a master of both Nritya and Nritta, and is quite adept in practically demonstrating them. He had traveled extensively and has presented his art with great success, Any music conference of all-India level seems lonely without the talented Birju Maharaj. At present he is a teacher at the Kathak Kendra of New Delhi. He is now the torch-bearer of the Kalika-Bindadin Gharana. He is very social and simple in habits. He holds the view that Kathak dance has deep-rooted relationship with human life and there are individual and special characteristic features of Bhava, Gat, Laya, Tala, and Ahhinaya in this art. Accordingly, he endeavors to make a harmonical synchronization of them. 

He composed the music and also lend his voice for two dance sequences in the film 'Shatranj Ke Khiladi', directed by Satyajit Ray. He also gave music in the films such as Devdas (2002), Gadar (2001), and Dil To Pagal Hai (1997).

This accomplished dancer, singer,musician won many awards including Padma Vibhushan (1986), Sangeet Natak Akademi award, Kalidas Samman and the Lata Mangeshkar Puraskar in 2002. This torchbearer of Lucknow Gharana has been conferred the honorary Doctorate degrees by the Banaras Hindu University and the Khairagarh University.