Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Kathak is dying in UP: Birju Maharaj

Kathak exponent PanditBirjuMaharaj feels the classical dance is dying in Uttar Pradesh. "In UP, majority of the youngsters are not interested in kathak dance but it is immensely popular in metro cities and western countries. My disciples are from India as well as abroad," said Maharaj who performed at the convocation of Bhatkhande Music University on Wednesday.

Relating the classical dance with spiritualism, Pandit Birju Maharaj said, "Parents should expose their children to classical dance from a young age. There are many families who do not allow their daughters to learn kathak because they believe it is wrong to make a career in dance. However, learning classical dance opens door for many career options. Apart from performing dance, a person can become a lecturer or write a book on it."

Pandit Birju Maharaj's wish which has remained unfulfilled is to open a dance school in the city. "As I belong to Lucknow, I have immense pain that I am unable to do anything for the city. Several years back the government had promised to give me land for academy but I am still waiting for it," said Maharaj who owns a dance school, Kalashram, in Delhi.

Meanwhile, Birju Maharaj confirmed that he would be choreographing actror Madhuri Dixit in the upcoming movie Dedh Ishqiya. Currently, the film is being shot at Sitapur. "Madhuri's expression and style of dancing reminds me of late actress Meena Kumari," he said.

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