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Birju Maharaj, legend of India’s kathak dance form, dies

Andrew Cuomo

NEW DELHI (AP) — Birju Maharaj, a legend of classical Indian dance and among the country’s most well-known performing artists, has died. He was 83. His granddaughter said Maharaj had a kidney ailment and had been undergoing dialysis. Known as Maharaj-ji by his many fans, he was considered an icon of the kathak form of Indian classical dance and was a recipient of the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian award. Kathak uses dance and facial expressions as a way to help tell a story, with many dances inspired by ancient Indian epics. Maharaj was known for his animated expressions and light-footed movements, accompanied by the sound of bells he wore around his ankles. 

Associated Press

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