Best of Bengal

Chhau dance

  • With its origins tracing back to the Baghmundi area of Purulia district, the Chhau is a tribal martial dance form performed in Bengal to celebrate the sun festival.

  • The three sub genres of the Chhau - Seraikella Chhau, Mayurbhanj Chhau and Purulia Chhau, use unique masks, and artistically blend both dance and vigourous martial art movements.

  • Themes of the Chhau are based on local legends and folklore, and are deeply influenced by the two great historical epics - Ramayana and Mahabharata.

  • Loud beats, triumphs, and musical instruments like dhol, dhamsa and marui synergise with ornate costumes and accessories to gracefully enhance the performances.

  • A fresh lease of life was breathed into this panoramic art form when the 2012 Indian romantic comedy-drama film Barfi! incorporated the Chhau dance in the narrative.

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