Chhau Dance of Baripada
Mystery Behind the Name of Chhau DanceAlthough the Chhau dance form is very popular all over yet it is believed to be a mystery. The Chhau is the word which is originated from the word “Chaaya” which means the shadow. And many of the Chhau dancers of Baripada use to wear the masks and they perform this Chhau Dance. It is also believed that the word Chhau is used for the masks and the Chhau is also said to have its roots related with that of the Chhaushree. As per another legend it is said that the Chhau is formed by the re-structing the word 'Chhauni' which is the military camps which are being made during the operations. As per the evidences found it is believed that the Chhau dance was performed at the military camps in order to entertain the Odiy awarriors during the wars and which now has spread all over the globe.
History of Chhau DanceThe Chhau dance is said to be the glory of not only the city of Baripada and the district of Mayurbhanja but also the pride of Odisha and overall the pride of the country at the international level. The kings that ruled the province of Mayurbhanja, such as Maharaja Shree Praatap Chandra Bhanja Deo and Maharaja Shree Ramachandraa Bhanja Deo, who were accepted to be the founders of the Modern Odisha War-Dance forms. Once George V, the British emperor was presented with the Chhau dance performance and he was very happy with the performance and started enlightening the fame of chhau and hence it got the popularity all over.
The Composition of the tribal, traditional, folk and the classical art is believed to have motivated the dance form of Chhau in the era of modern dances. The Chhau dance form pulls significantly the great epics of Mahabharata, Ramayana, and various other tribal and folk elements. The music and the rhythm being played simultaneously the Chhau dance mesmerize the viewers and are believed to be one of the relieving factors that take the soul to a different paradise. The instruments being used in the music performed are the handmade musical instruments such as the Dhumsa, Dhol, Mohuri, the Chad-Chadi and many a times the vocal music is also included. The grammar of the Chhau includes the six Topka also known as the Chalis which are the prime steps along with the verities of locomotion. The ulfis and the Chalis are said to be from the countryside house hold acts and it involves the birds, animal behaviors and also the war sort of situations.