Bhubaneswar: The three-day National Chhau Dance Festival hosted by the Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi was inaugurated at Rabindra Mandap here on Saturday.
The objective of the festival is to bring together the three major Chhau dance traditions of India – of Sareikalla in Jharkhand, Purulia in West Bengal and Mayurbhanj in Odisha – and celebrate the strength and grandeur of these unique martial arts traditions.
The inaugural evening featured city-based Angika Chhau troupe led by Central Sangeet Natak Akademi award-winner exponent Sadasiv Pradhan of Mayurbhanj Chhau style followed by Purulia Chhau by Binapani Rupachand Chhau Dance Group from West Bengal and Nichupada Uttarsahi Chhau Nrutya Pratisthan of Mayurbhanj.
The second evening will showcase Mayurbhanj Chhau. As many as three troupes – Mayur Art Centre, Bhubaneswar, the Chhau Dance Department of Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya and Mayurbhanj Chhau Nrutya Pratisthan of the Mayurbhanj district are scheduled to perform.
The concluding evening will feature masked Chhau dance of Sareikala of Bihar-Jharkhand region by Acharya Chhau Nrutya Bichitra from Jharkhand. The other troupe slated to perform during the evening is the Bamanghati Chhau Nrutya Pratisthan from Mayurbhanj.