Saraikela Chhau Mahtosav is slated to be held for three days.Begining on April 10,it is scheduled to be concluded on April 12.
The Saraikela Chhau Mahotsav is being organized for the first time by Raghubar Das government’s Department of Art,Culture,Sports and Youth Affairs.During the three day Mahotsav,the local artists will get the platform to expose their talent.Even the residents of Jharkhand will get an opportunity to witness the traditional dance.
As per the tradition,the Chhau Dance follows the basic principles of Hindu Dance. It is prevalent not only in Seraikela but also in the same form or the other in many parts of Orissa and West Bengal.In fact,the word Chhau is interpreted in different ways by different quarters and persons.
For instance,as per the opinion of Late Bijay Pratap Singh Deo of Seraikela who was an architect of Chhau dance of Seraikella school, Chhau is a masked dance, the motif of which has been drawn from the mythological picturesque.
Others believe that “Chhau” is a dialect meaning six faces- fore head, eyes, nose, cheeks, lips and chin and a mask.These six faces bear six parts of the face. The word “Chhau” ordinarily means mask and because the dance is performed by use of mask, it is called “Chhau Dance”.
According to yet another school of thought,
“Chhau” has been derived from the Sanskrit word “Chhabi”.It means image or picture. Still some other experts say that as the dance is characterized by variety, it is called Chhau dance and as such “Chhau” is Chhabila in Sanskrit and fancy or picturesque in English.
According to Sitakanta Mohapatra (I.A.S.), Chhau is concocted pronunciation of the word Chhauni (Military Barrack or Cantonment). In his views, the militia man (Paikas) staged and performed in Chhauni (cantonments) for amusement during leisure time and enjoy their success or victory in battle field, so the people called it as “Chhauni dance”.In course of time it has changed to Chhau dance by mispronunciation.
To make the Chhau Mahotsav successful,the Department has decided to organize Road Show in Ranchi,Kolkata,Delhi and Raipur with an aim to popularize Saraikela Chhau across the country and abroad.