Chhau Dance of Purulia, West Bengal

Theatre, Performance Crafts

Chhau Dance of Purulia, West Bengal

Chhau dance is a folk performance of Puralia, West Bengal. Although it is practiced in other regions of India, they have their distinct and unique features. Chhau Dance in Purulia and Seraikella is performed with a mask. The performance is accompanied with colorful costumes which match with the mask and complete a performer’s attire. The costumes are mostly made of silk. 

The dance is enacted through mythological stories, epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata and is devoid of any dialogue. It has dance, drama and music. It was primarily a war dance and constitutes of vigorous movements. Chhau dance is only performed by males, no women participate in this dance form. Even the role of women is played my men in disguise. Traditionally, the dance was performed in front of Shiva temple or village square. Today, Chhau dance has found its way to the global stage and is representative of the Bengali culture.


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