Millennium Post

Walk of pride

Walk of pride
Bhaskar Khulbe, additional chief secretary, is to receive the award on behalf of the Government of West Bengal on 31st January, at the Rashtriya Rangshala Camp in Delhi Cantonment.

The repertoire of Purulia Chhau embodies the rich cultural heritage of West Bengal. A mask dance performed in certain areas of the State, it has a distinctive character of its own.  Although Chhau is part of the folk cultures of Bihar and Orissa as well, Purulia Chhau has received international acclaim in recent years for its vigour and perfection.

The main theme of Purulia Chhau is battle since the dance traces its origin to a warrior tribe – Bhumij or Munda. The physical agility of performers is striking in vigorous somersaults, circular movements and forceful leaps. Drawing episodes from Ramayana, Mahabharata and Puranas, Chhau has evolved as a ritual to propitiate Sun, Shiva and Shakti and dominantly depicts Vira and Raudra rasa.

The West Bengal tableau had portrayed Lord Kartikeya in his dazzling divine regalia. The accompanying artistes had enacted their much-acclaimed ‘Mahishasura Mardini’ – symbolising the triumph of good over evil. The scintillating live performance at the tableau was staged by a 10-member Chhau Group from Shiv Shakti Chhow Dance Academy, Purulia.

Distinctive aspects of Purulia Chhau through its bright and colorful masks and accessories and folk instruments that create the aura and ambience of an animated and invigorating dance form, kept alive by the rural communities, were also encapsulated in the tableau. The Chhau dance contingent, led by Jodharam Kumar, had received the First Prize for their performance at the Cultural Programme organised by the Ministry of Defence.
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