Chhau dance is a genre of Indian tribal martial dance which is popular in the Indian states of Orissa, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
The Chhau dance is mainly performed during regional festivals.
The Chhau blends within it forms of both dance and martial practices employing mock combat techniques, stylized gaits of birds and animals and movements based on the chores of village housewives.
The dance is performed by male dancers from families of traditional artists or from local communities and is performed at night in an open space, called akhada or asar, to traditional and folk music, played on the reed pipes mohuri and shehnai. A variety of drums accompany the music ensemble including the dhol (a cylindrical drum), dhumsa (a large kettle drum) and kharka or chad-chadi.
The themes for these dances include local legends, folklore and episodes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata and other abstract themes.
Purulia is a city located in West Bengal state, India, and is famous for the “chau” dance.
Photo By : Subhasis Ghosh,CHIEF PHOTO JOURNALIST
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