Department of Culture and Tourism gears up for Chhau Mahotsav

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    Jamshedpur: The administration is all set for the Chhau Mahotsav being organised by the State Department of Culture And Tourism at Seraikela from April 5. About 40,000 visitors across Jharkhand are expected to participate in it.

    A Chhau Rath was inaugurated by Menaka Sardar, MLA from Potka near the Fortune Park Centre Point Hotel on Thursday.
    Vandana Dadel, art and culture secretary, Anil Kumar Singh, director, state art and culture department, Sanjeev Kumar Besra, SDO of Seraikela and secretary, Government Chhau Dance Centre and Chhau guru Tapan Patnaik were present on the occasion.

    About 65 professional Chhau teams are expected to perform at the festival.

    About a decade ago, an initiative by the local administration in association with the family members of the former king of Seraikela, Aditya Narayan Singhdeo, had led to the commencement of the Chhau festival in the area.

    The Seraikela-Kharswan district administration is keen to organise such festival as after the independence in 1947, there was an agreement between the royal dynasties and the then Bihar government to preserve the local culture and tradition. The Seraikela-Kharswan district administration organises the Seraikela Chhau Mahotsav during the Chaitra Parva in mid April.

    In Seraikela Style of Chhau Mask” is the centre of attraction. Vachikabhinaye (Dramatic Expression through speech) is absent, glances are eliminated, but expression of the “Bhava” through movement of the limbs, mime and body language in Seraikella Chhau is unique.

    The style postures movement and foorwork conform to the positive martial art form bestowed with grace. Chhau is a colourful, vigorous dance form which originated in ancient times as a martial art form(sword & shield) parikhanda (parimeans shield means-khanda means sword).

    Though nurtured, enriched in the natural Surrounding of Seraikella, the dance evolving from the martial art (parikhanda) in long course of history, assimilated all the salient features of or classical dance.

    “The idea behind the festival is to promote the traditional dance form of the State and promote the artists. We are expecting thousands of the people from across the region and neighbouring States to witness the event,” noted an official.

    He further went on to add that the chhau dance is an ancient but is origins are obscure. Chhau Mahotsov brings all 3 styles of chhau in one platform which is unique in itself.Chhau is a traditional dance form with classical base. It is a distinguished and highly specialised.

    Masked dance having rich cultural heritage. Steeped in symbolism, Chhau is colourful, dace form which originated in ancient times as a martial art form.

    Chhau is derived from the Sanskrit word Chhau, meaning- Shade, Image or Mask, which is an essential feature of this art.

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