kathak: Kathak legend Birju Maharaj dies at 83: Hyderabad classical dance representatives pay tribute | Hyderabad News

Maharaj ji’s mesmerizing performances will continue to inspire us — Deepika Reddy, Kuchipudi dancer
I am deeply saddened and afflicted by the irreparable loss of the King of Kathak, Pandit Birju Maharajji. Despite his monumental accomplishments, he was humble beyond all expectations. I consider it my luck that he invited me to choreograph and perform Kuchipudi’s segment in his production, “Ritu Samhar”. I watched and learned a lot from him during our tours in Korea, Thailand and Germany. He would tell anecdotes of his international tours in his youth and say that language was a huge barrier to communication which he overcame by using mudras (hand gestures) and expressions. Panditji showed so much affection for my students and me. He took selfies with us endearingly and even clicked our pictures on his camera. One of my fondest memories is playing while Maharajji was playing the tabla. His childlike affection for me is etched in my memory. His mesmerizing performances and magnificent legacy will remain for all performers to cherish and continue to inspire us.
maharajiji opened a new path to Kathak, it will live as long as the art lives— Raghav Raj Bhatt, disciple of Pt Birju Maharaj
I spoke to Maharajji last Saturday. I am devastated to know that he is no more. He was more than a father figure to me. I spent over 20 hours a day with him while training with him. We shared a close bond. Even though he is no more, I feel that he is with me all the time. Maharaj opened a new path in Kathak. So much so that even those who have never learned directly from him have imbibed his style. He was the tallest in his gharana. He was a versatile artist with many artistic skills – guru, dancer, singer, percussionist, musician, choreographer, composer and poet. I worked with him on many experimental projects, both in India and abroad. Being a painter, I even made sets for his shows. Once you are with Maharajji, you have to do everything. I believe he will not leave me, and I will not leave him. He is my asset. It will live as long as the art lives.

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