Delhi-based dancer brings Odisha's Mayurbhaj Chhau to Mumbai

If you have ever watched a Mayurbhaj Chhau performance, chances are that you've noticed that men often outnumber women.

"It is a male-oriented dance form that originated as a martial art in Orissa. It incorporates vigorous movements, jumps and leaps," says Delhi-based Santosh Nair, who will be conducting a workshop on the form on April 24.

Mayurbhaj Chhau
Mayurbhaj Chhau

Indigenous to eastern India, Chhau is an Indian tribal dance that revolves around stories of hunting. While it has three sub-genres, based on places of inception — Seraikella, Purulia and Mayurbhanj — the latter, according to Nair, is slowly becoming popular because the movements adapt well to modern and traditional treatment.

Chhau is also called paika nrutya; the words derived from Sanskrit to signify fight (paika) and move (nrutya).

Mayurbhaj Chhau
Mayurbhaj Chhau

"Mayurbhaj chhau, unlike, most classical Indian dance forms like Kathak and Bharatnatyam is devoid of mudras and facial expressions. The focus is entirely on movement," says the 42-year-old who runs a dance academy in the capital.

Two-hour workshop will focus on movements characterising various animals, right from lions and deer to birds. "If there's one dance form that makes maximum use of the body, it is the Mayurbhaj chhau."

Where: West Room 1, NCPA, Nariman Point
When: April 24, 11 AM – 1 PM
Entry: Rs 300
Call: 66223737


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