By Sumit Chakraborty
The author is a freelance writer and photographer from Kolkata. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Partly sourced from www.purulia.gov.in
Among the three variations of the martial dance form, Purulia Chhau has a distinctive ethos. Traditionally performed to celebrate the sun festival, year long cultural extravaganzas today provide a wide canvas for its dissemination. Thematic content in Purulia Chhau is drawn from epical stories and the mask is the most characteristic part of the dance.
Chhau, a form of tribal martial dance of India, is believed to have originated in the former princely state of Mayurbhanj. Today, three variations of the dance are performed in eastern India - Seraikella Chhau in Jharkhand, Mayurbhanj Chhau in Orissa, and Purulia Chhau in West Bengal. All the dances are performed with masks. However the masks, style and accompanying music of each form is noticeably different. Origin Purulia is the westernmost district of West Bengal. Its location is a...