The king of kathak dance, Pandit Birju Maharaj has never retired and never stopped dancing. Celebrating his 75th birthday, he continues to be the leading exponent of kathak and torch-bearer of the Kalka-Bindadin gharana of Lucknow. He has helped to re-popularize kathak, marrying elements of both the ancient, holy style and the secular, dramatic style of today. Maharaj-ji mastered his skills guided by his father Achhan Maharaj and his uncles Lachhu Maharaj and Shambhu Maharaj.

birjumaharaj_large“Concert of the Legend” is presented by the Nrityodaya Kathak Academy. The concert starts with a brief recital by Artistic Director Bhairavi Kumar. Kumar is humbled to share the stage with the prestigious Pandit Birju Maharaj. “I am honored to have this incredible opportunity to dance on the same stage as Maharaj-ji,” she adds. As the director and choreographer of the Nrityodaya Kathak Academy, Bhairavi Kumar is dedicated to educate, research, and bring awareness of diversity in the community through dance and performance.

 

 

 

img_5262-1edited_mediumBirju Maharaj is a multi-faceted personality. Besides his mastery over kathak, he is also a musician, percussionist, composer, teacher, director, choreographer and a poet. Maharaj-ji has composed many dance dramas like Gobardhan Leela, Makhan Chori, Malti-Madhav, Kumar Sambhav, and Phag Bahar. He has also dabbled in films. He composed two classical dance sequences for Satyajit Ray’s film Shatranj Ke Khiladi and choreographed a song for Sanjay Leela Bhansal’s film Devdas.
He has been honored with various awards including the Sangeet Natak Academy Award (the highest civilian award) and the Padma Vibhushan (the highest presidential award for achievement) awarded by the Government of India.

Maharaj-ji has a mesmerizing effect on the hordes of concert-goers who witness the performance of the maestro. Spend a romantic evening with one of India’s most beloved balladeers as he performs ghazal, thumri or bhajans by unique rendering through gestures and mime.n

Saturday, September 22. 7 p.m. UCI Barclay Theatre. 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine. $100 (VVIP) $75, $68, $58, $48, $38. Box Office- (949) 854-4646×1, Bhairavi Kumar (909) 630-8558. bhairavikumar@yahoo.com. www.nrityodayaacademy.com.

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