Jitendra Maharaj

Born on 9 September 1934 at Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, Shri Jitendra Maharaj received his training in Kathak dance under Shri Krishna Kumar Maharaj of Varanasi gharana. Shri Jitendra Maharaj has distinguished himself both as a Kathak dancer and teacher. He has won particular acclaim for his choreographic work incorporating mythological stories, along with Dhrupad compositions. He has performed extensively at various festivals and has also conducted workshops and lecture-demonstrations in India and abroad including at Kailash Mansarovar in 2003 setting the world record for dancing at an altitude of 18,000 feet. He has lectured in various European Universities. Shri Jitendra Maharaj has also worked on fitness, yoga and music-dance therapy; and authored books on spirituality in dance, and relation of dance with yoga. He has assisted his guru in the choreography for the film, Prem Rog produced by Raj Kapoor. He established the Sangeetika Institute of Performing Arts for teaching Kathak Dance in Delhi in 1970, and has trained many young dancers. For his service to dance, Shri Jitendra Maharaj has been honoured with the Uttar Pradesh Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1996); the Indira Priyadarshini Award (1998); and the Nritya Shiromani Award by Sur Singar Samsad, Mumbai. Shri Jitendra Maharaj receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to Kathak dance.