Pandit Birju Maharaj to train Deepika in 'Bajirao Mastani'


Kathak genius Bijru Maharaj is all set to choreograph Deepika Padukone in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s periodic drama, ‘Bajirao Mastani’. Bhansali has approached Bijru Maharaj to train Deepika for the classical number. At first, he thought for a jugalbandi between Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone but later he decided for a solo performance of Deepika.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali shares a great rapport with the Kathak maestro Birju Maharaj. He has earlier choreographed Madhuri Dixit in the paranormal song 'Kahe chhed' in blockbuster ‘Devdas’.

Confirming the news, Pandit Birju Maharaj says, "I will choreograph Deepika in a solo act which is a more contemporary adaptation of one of my own performances set on an Avadhi Brijwasi thumri, Balma re chunaria maiko lal.There's a lot of lal rang in the song with Deepika dressed in fiery red, her head demurely covered by a ghoonghat but her eyes flashing fire"."There's a lot of lal rang in the song with Deepika dressed in fiery red, her head demurely covered by a ghoonghat but her eyes flashing fire," he added.

Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who crave for perfection is personally attending the rehearsals to check on Deepika's progress.
 
Reveals a source, " Deepika has been training with Pandit Birju Maharaj as she essays the role of Mastani , who was a court dancer. Since the film dates back to centuries, it was crucial for Deepika to ace the finer nuances of the dance forms to maintain authenticity. She has been practicing for 2 hours a day with Birju Maharaj”.
 
Birju Maharaj was at first hesitant to train a naive dancer but when Bhansali showed him the actress’s Kathak sequence from ‘Happy New Year’, he agreed to train her.

"I figured she would be able to dance gracefully to the thumri Sanjay had picked out. And I was right. Deepika, who has received formal training in Bharatnatyam, quickly mastered the footwork when she came for riyaaz to Delhi," said Panditji.

"We'll be shooting for 12 nights at a stretch. And till then I've given Deepika lots of homework that'll keep her busy," he added.

Bhansali’s ‘Bajirao Mastani’ stars Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra in the lead.