Among other dance-drama traditions in India like Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Kathakali and a few more, Chhau is a rare and unique colorful masked dance-drama form. There are three types of Chhau named after their geographical locations; the Seraikela of Bihar, the Purulia of West Bengal and the Mayurbhanj of Orissa. The mask in Seraikella Chhau is a vital element in the dance. The mask indicating a character or thematic idea in a stylized manner achieves a strange quality of abstraction. It liberates the dancer from the limiting influence of the face and places a greater burden on the movement of the body. Unlike the other two forms of Chhau, Seraikella Chhau is pure dance rather than dance-drama. The themes of Seraikella Chhau dances range from Indian mythological figures to everyday people and their lives, from aspects of the natural world to abstract expressions of thoughts and feelings. The movements of Seraikella Chhau is said to have as its origins the movements of the traditional martial art form Parikanda which uses a sword and shield.
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