"I got to know that I won the National Award through calls I have been receiving since evening. I never had any expectations but now that I have got it, I would like to thank my parents for the same. I had least expectations because I only believe in my work," the 75-year-old Birju Maharaj said.
"Kamal Haasan too has a part in this honor I have received. I should thank him for giving me an opportunity to choreograph a song in the south," he added.
How was it working with Kamal Haasan?
"Even though he is a highly talented dancer, he did lot of hard work for the song. He spent hours getting every step right and he deserves special appreciation for that. What is more interesting is that he is the only male I have ever choreographed for," he said.
Pandit Birju Maharaj won the award for choreographing the song "Unnai Kaanadhu Naan", which features Kamal Haasan performing Kathak steps.
He has also choreographed songs in films such as "Gadar: Ek Prem Katha", "Devdas" and is currently choreographing a song in Madhuri Dixit-starrer "Dedh Ishqiya".