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Chau Dance

Chau dance is form of tribal martial dance attributed to origins in Mayurbhanj and seen in the Indian states of West Bengal, Jharkhand and Orissa. It is a very unique style of dance, in which the dancers wear masks while dancing.

The three forms of Chau are named after the district or village where they are performed, i.e. the Purulia Chau of Bengal, the Seraikella Chau of Bihar and the Mayurbhanj Chau of Orissa.
The Chau dance is epical in content, and is based on various episodes of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Sometimes certain episodes of the Puranas are also used. In the end of the dance, forces of evil are defeated and the righteous triumphs.

The dance opens with the beating of drums followed by an invocation to Ganesha, by a singer. As soon as the singer finishes the song, host of drummers and musicians step in and create a very wonderful environment prior to the dance.
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