June 18, 2016: A bouquet of old Bengali and Hindi songs by Amrita Das and Chandrshekhar Bose created an atmosphere of nostalgic remembrance at the courtyard of Handloom Haat in Delhi this evening, where a cultural soiree was organized by the Office of the Resident Commissioner, Government of West Bengal, along with the ongoing Bengal Mango Mela 2016 being held at the venue.
The other attraction of the evening was the colourful persentation of “Mahishasuramardini”, performed by a team of Chhau dancers from Purulia district led by Shri Ajit Mahato.
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. Chhau dance draws episodes from Ramayana, Mahabharata and Puranas.