Remembering Pt. Birju Maharaj: The Legend’s Contribution To Indian Cinema

Instagram/Madhuri Dixit and Kalashram Gulmohar Park; and YouTube

​Pandit Birju Maharaj, the legendary Kathak artiste, passed away on January 16, 2021. He left behind a legacy of Indian classical dance and music. We remember the legend by putting together a list of some of his best songs he choreographed for Indian cinema.

​Kahe Chhed Mohe, Devdas

​One of the most popular songs of Bollywood’s ‘dhak dhak girl’ Madhuri Dixit Nene, ‘Kahe Chhed Mohe’ was written, composed, and choreographed by Maharaj ji.

​Main Radha Tu Shyaam, Vishwaroopam

​Pt Birju Maharaj won the national award for best choreography for ‘Main Radha Tu Shyam’ from Kamal Haasan’s bilingual film ‘Vishwaroopam’. This song featured Hasaan beautifully performing nritta (pure dance) and nritya (footwork combined with expressions) from Kathak.

​Mohe Rang Do Laal, Bajirao Mastani

​Who can forget Deepika Padukone and her nazaakat in the song ‘Mohe Rang Do Laal’! It was reported that the actor was worried about performing pure Kathak moves – fast footwork and movements – but Maharaj ji’s expertise helped her achieve the excellence.

​Aankhon Ki Masti, Umrao Jaan

​A single expression that can speak volumes was proved when Rekha performed on the song ‘Inn Aankhon Ki Masti’. Pt Birju Maharaj choreographed this song with renowned Kathak dancer, actor and choreographer, Gopi Krishna.

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