Our teaching center and performing group is directed by Guru, Janmejoy Sai Babu. It is composed by permanent dancers, professionals in different forms of dance both classical and modern, and with different artistic backgrounds, learning the style of Mayurbhanj Chhau under the guidance of Guruji.
In our performances we display the elements of this attractive discipline through its traditional context, molding them with innovative and creative compositions. Some of the items we perform are the traditional versions of the dance that have been carried out for generations with few changes here and there, yet others are complete modifications of the original versions that have been choreographed by Guruji, refining the movements and adding gestures, facial expressions and even mudra (hand gestures) to convey the message of slokas or other narrative sources. The costumes of the characters played have also been revised in order to give them a more classical look, fit for the Delhi or the international stage. Since it is not always easy to put together a Chhau orchestra, we can perform on recorded music, but we always prefer the live sound of the Dhol.
Wanting to deliver Mayurbhanj Chhau at a higher performing level, our repertories are varied and consist of group dances, solos or duets. Some of them are:
Nataraj: Lord Shiva’s cosmic dance is recreated through this item showing various types of Tandava. Begining with the shant ras (peaceful mood) he displays his mastery over yogic asanas. As his meditation is disturbed by the demon Apasmara, he diplays his force of destruction with the Roudra tandava. This is followed by an ecstatic whirl of re-creation in his blissful dance of Ananda Tandava. Solo dance item.
Geeta: Revisiting the epic scene where the Pandavas and Kaurvas are assembled to engage in warfare, this dance composition tells how Lord Krishna reveals his divine identity and instructs Arjun to fulfill his dharmic duty even by fighting his own kin. Duet Dance.
Dandi: Item enacting the path following the ritual of the sacred thread (Janeu) when the Brahmin steps into the world of celibacy, having to leave his relatives and all material possessions to search for the knowledge of the immortal self. Solo dance item, or also performed in group. This is also one of my personal favorites, it’s really touching.
Martial Art: The passionate warriors reproduce the martial movements in a most graceful way as a means of entertainment and celebration, displaying the heroic array of attack and defense movements. Group dance.