Mayur Art Center

         Chhau dance is a genre of Indian tribal martial dance which is popular in the Indian states of Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal. There are three subgenres of the dance, based on its places of origin and development, Seraikella Chhau, Mayurbhanj Chhau and Purulia Chhau. This is also called paika nrutya.The word paika is derived from the Sanskrit word Padatika meaning the infantry, and hence the name of the dance is battle (paika) dance (nrutya).

The Chhau dance is mainly performed during regional festivals, especially the spring festival of Chaitra Parva which lasts for thirteen days and in which the whole community participates. The Chhau blends within it forms of both dance and martial practices employing mock combat techniques (called khel), stylized gaits of birds and animals (calledchalis and topkas) and movements based on the chores of village housewives (called uflis). 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.

Mayur Art Centre, Bhubaneswar, is a unique one-of-its-kind institution in the state of Odisha established in 1980. It is devoted to the training, preservation, performance and research of Mayurbhanj style of Chhau dance. The group has been trained by eminent Gurus and has performed all over the country and abroad in countries such as Holland, Portugal, France, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania etc. since the past two decades.
Chhau dance is an Indian tribal martial dance which is popular in the Indian states of Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal. It is mainly performed during regional festivals.One of the three subgenres of the dance, based on the place of its origin and development is Mayurbhanj Chhau. This is the style of Chhau where masks are not used.
We will enjoy the mock combat techniques of Chhau Dance by the performers from Mayur Art Center, Bhubaneswar on the evening of 47th OSA Convention.

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