dt. fr. it. engl.
|Indian Classical Dance / Klassischer Indischer Tanz / Danse classique de l'Inde > Chhau|
etymological root of the word 'Chhau' is traced to the Sanskrit 'Chhaya' or
shade, referring to the mask used by the dancers. Others aver, it is
derived from the word 'Chhauni' where the pharikhanda (shield &
sword) soldiers stayed.
The technique of the dance, in
fact, draws on steps and gait which have stemmed from the 'Pharikhanda
System'. It is basically a martial dance where the mask holds the dominant
Rasa while the body creates, projects, and develops the moods.
Chhau has three schools as such,
coming from Seraikella in Bihar, Mayurbhanj in Orissa and Purulia in West
Bengal. While all the three Chhau forms are danced by men, Mayurbhanj uses
no masks but the others do.
The themes are based on
mythology, everyday life, aspects of nature or just a mood or emotion.
Purulia Chhau, however, has a single focus - good triumphs over evil. The
music is based on Hindusthani Ragas and the accompaniment is with a Nagra,
a huge kettle drum, Dhol, a cylindrical drum, and Shehnais or
Indian Classical Dance & Music, Department of Tourism, Government of
Published on motionsound.com by kind permission of the Department of Tourism, Government of India