- “Truly breaks my heart to write this post today,” she wrote
- “May his soul rest in peace,” wrote Alia Bhatt
- “I will never forget all that he has taught me,” she wrote
Alia Bhatt joined thousands across the world in paying her respects to the legendary Kathak dancer and guru, Pandit Birju Maharaj. The artist par excellence died at his home in Delhi in the early hours of Monday. He was 83. Alia Bhatt remembered the icon in a special Instagram Stories post. Affixed to a stunning black-and-white image of Pandit Birju Maharaj working his magic, in a note Alia Bhatt looked back at the time she trained under the guru for the song Ghar More Pardesiya from her film Kalank. In her note, she termed the three days under his tutelage as one of the “most creative and fulfilling experiences.”
Alia Bhatt’s note said, “Had the honour and privilege of spending three full days with Pandit Birju Maharaj in 2018 while I was prepping for Ghar More Pardesiya. I will never forget all that he has taught me. It was possibly one of the most creative and fulfilling experiences that I have ever had. A legend who has inspired several and will always continue to do so through his art. Truly breaks my heart to write this post today. May his soul rest in peace.”
See the post here:
Pandit Birju Maharaj brought his prowess in Kathak onto the big screen with collaborations with directors such as Satyajit Ray and Sanjay Leela Bhansali, and actors like Kamal Haasan and Madhuri Dixit.
In addition to being a Kathak dancer, Pandit Birju Maharaj was also a trained classical vocalist. He had composed the music, sang and choreographed two dance sequences in the Satyajit Ray film Shatranj ke Khilari. His notable work in films includes the choreography for songs such as Kaahe Chhed Mohe and Mohe Rang Do Laal, among others. He also won the National Film Award for Best Choreography for Unnai Kaanaathu.
As a descendant of the Maharaj family of Kathak dancers, Pandit Birju Maharaj trained under his father, guru Acchan Maharaj. For his remarkable contribution to the field of art, he was bestowed with the second-highest civilian award, Padma Vibhushan in 1986.