Chhau Dance of Baripada

Located deep in the lap of nature the city of Baripada is blessed with immense natural wonders. From the highest mountain ranges to the beautiful rivers, streams and the waterfalls the city of Baripada has it all in its arm. Influenced by the surrounding along with the marvelous and virile form of dance which is known as the Chhau Dance, is one of the world famous dance form originated from the district of Mayurbhanja. This dance form is not just popular over the district but various from parts of the world people are now following this dance form.

Chhau Dance of Baripada

Mystery Behind the Name of Chhau Dance

Although 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 Dance

The 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.

Various Styles of Chhau Dance

Today the modern Dance forms are very much popular and the traditional dance forms have started going extinct. There Chhau dance form is one of the famous forms which is still existing in varities of the dance forms that exists in the country. There are three verities of dance forms are popular in the world, of them one is the Purulia Chau which was founded at the Purulia district of the state of West Bengal, the second one is the Seraikela Kharsawan which is believed to be found in the deep areas of the Jharkhand and the last one is the Mayurbhanj Chhau which is founded in the Myurbhanja district of Odisha and is also believed to be most famous and the other two forms that of the Purulia and the Seraikela are the less famous one as they as use the masks during the dance which the Mayurbhanja one doesn’t.
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