Kathak Maestro, the living legend, seventh generation guru of kathak from the lucknow gharana (tradition), Pandit Birju Maharaj ji is in town and would be taking a week long workshop for the kathak enthusiasts, beginner as well as the advanced from all age groups and different walks of life.
The classes start tomorrow at the Ritz Theatre and I among many other KDT (Katha Dance Theatre) student are planning to be there to be able to experience and learn kathak right from one of its only remaining original sources.
I attended his workshop in 2009 during his previous visit to the twin cities and loved every bit of the wonderful experience. He not only teaches but composes music and choreographs steps as we go along, and as I saw last time if a certain step is too tough for younger or the lesser experienced students, he would just switch it up without holding it against the students. He is a very pleasant personality to be around.
These pictures were taken during the workshop in 2009 and its a sheer delight to watch the ultimate guru in action. I can wait to see him tomorrow...
|Maharaj ji, composing music|
|Speaking to his pupils|
|Maharaj ji counting the beats on hand the traditional way|
|Teaching the mudras and the expressions|
Besides the Kathak connection, I share roots with Maharaj ji as our previous generations possibly evolved from the same gene pool and had same cultural soil to prosper... Maharaj ji's tester years pictures look so much like uncle's (Dad's brother) and they might have resembled in older years too but my uncle passed away young so I can compare and say for sure.
Maharaj ji's mannerisms remind me so much of my Father -in -law who also belongs to Lucknow and there is a certain warmth even in the reprimands of the elderly of that region, that generation... As I said can't wait to see him and introduce my girls to him tomorrow.
|That's me taking a picture and trying to be in the |
same frame as Maharaj ji