‘Chhau Connect’, A Virtual Festival To Revive The Dance Form

Bhubaneswar: Chhau dancers would have danced to their heart’s delight giving performances galore had there been no lockdown because it was springtime. Chhau dance is traditionally performed during the spring festival of Chaitra Parva in which the whole community participates. But alas! that was not to be!

To make up for the lost months and help revive and glorify the dance form, the Ministry Of Cultural and Lok Chhanda Cultural Unit from Delhi in association with Project Chhauni has organised a virtual Mayurbhanj Chhau festival. The eight-day long festival started on August 15, 2020. Every day, there is a performance from a renowned Chhau artist and speech by a guest speaker. It goes live every evening at 6 pm on the Facebook account of Project Chhauni.

Around 45 participants who have registered for the festival showcase different aspects of Chhau such as a performing a Krishna Bhakti or Ramayana themed dance.

“There is very little chance of Mayurbhanj Chhau to flourish these days. Moreover, for the local artists, it is very difficult to get work,” said Subhashree Mukherjee, the curator of the programme. “As more and more people watch the festival, it will help in the promotion of the dance form,” she added further.

Eminent speakers and dancers like Sonal Mansingh, Shobha Deepak Singh and several others like Carolina Prada will grace the festival.

According to Mukherjee, more performances, better training, collaborations, and grants are needed to help artists and the dance form.

Project Chhauni works towards the preservation and promotion of Mayurbhanj Chhau providing benefits to the artists and is designed by Subhashree Mukherjee.

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