Chhau Dance

The Chhau Dance โ€“ A to Z Challenge April 2018 #DanceKaPunchnama

Hello Peeps ๐Ÿ™‚

My letter for the Day is โ€˜Cโ€™

Chau or Chhau, is a semi classical Indian dance form. It is originated in the eastern part of India – West Bengal, Jharkhand and Odisha. The dance form is a mixture of martial arts, acrobatics and athletics.It is performed during the regional festivals specially ‘Chaitra Parva’. The theme of the dance includes local legends, folklore and stories from hindu epics the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, the Puranas and other Indian literature.

How to perform this dance?

There are three types of Chhau Dance:

The Seraikella Chhau of Jharkhand:

Seraikella Chhau
Source: google

This dance is performed with symbolic masks to establish the role the actor is playing. There is no vocal or facial expression because mask is the center of attraction here. The performers have strong body language to express different Bhavas (Moods) and Rasas (sentiments).The root of this Chhau dance is a distinct martial art called “Pharikhanda”.

Chhau Dance - A to Z Challenge #DanceKaPunchnama
Source: google

Pari means shield and khanda sword, and in the parikhanda the performers all hold swords and shields in their hands while doing the body movements like Siro Bhedo (Head gesture) and Griba Bhedo (neck gesture).

The Purulia Chhau of West Bengal:

Purulia Chhau - A to Z Challenge #Dancekapunchnama
Source: Google

This Chhau dance is performed during Sun festival, Gajan Utsav, Chaitra Utsav etc. Here also, the performers use heavy colorful masks and strong body language of the performer is important. It is mainly based on epic stories of Ramayana and Mahabharata and themes are mostly Vira and Rudra, symbolizing power and strength. This is not performed on elevated stage, performers dance on an open area where audience seats on the ground making a circle.

The Mayurbhanj Chhau of Odisha:

Mayurbhanj Chhau - A to Z Challenge April 2018
Source: google

In this Chhau dance, performers do not use the mask but it is technically similar with Seraikella Chhau.


Chhau Dance Instruments
Source: google

Most of the folk tunes are played on Mahuri. Drums, Dhol and Dhamsa are used as instruments here.


Chhau Dance - Costumes
source: google

The costumes are of different colors and designs. The artists who are playing the role of gods, wear pyjamas in deep green or yellow or red shade while the demons characters wear loose pyjamas of deep black shades. The upper part of the costume has use of various colors and designs. The dancers use various masks to establish the character.

The Mask:

The Chhau Mask
Source: google

The chhau masks are used for Seraikella and Purulia Chhau. This mask is made up with paper, mud and clay. The masks are painted with different colors and have simple and bold look.

Letโ€™s check out some amazing Dance Performance here:

See what dance form I have shared for the letter โ€˜Bโ€™

What will be my next dance form for the letter โ€˜Dโ€™?

This post is in association with #BlogchatterA2Z

Are you enjoying this #DanceKaPunchnama? Please comment below.

A to Z April 2018
Source: Blogchatter

Source: Indianetzone,Wikipedia


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