Brijmohan Mishra popularly known as Pandit Birju Maharaj was born on 4 February 1938. He is the leading exponent of the Lucknow Kalka-Bindadin gharana of Kathak dance in India. Birju Maharaj started teaching the dance form at the young age of thirteen, at the Sangeet Bharti in New Delhi. He then taught at the Bharatiya Kala Kendra in Delhi, and at the Kathak Kendra where he was Head of Faculty, and director, retiring in 1998 after which he opened his own dance school, Kalashram, also in Delhi. He composed the music, and sang, for two dance sequences in the Satyajit Ray’s Shatranj ke Khilari, and choreographed the song Kaahe Chhed Mohe from the 2002 film version of novella Devdas. In addition, he has also choreographed Kathak dance sequences in Dedh Ishqiya as well as Umrao Jaan, and Bajirao Mastani directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
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