Directors: Sapan Kumar Acharya

Group: Acharya Chhau Nrutya Bichitra, Jharkhand

Language: Non- Verbal

Duration: 1hr 15 mins

The Forms

Seraikella Chhau – Based on martial arts, the Seraikella Chhau follows the tenets of Natya Shastra as propounded in our scriptures. The use of masks is its uniqueness and the dancer uses these to clarify and depict the theme of the dance. The dancer expresses different emotions, notions and ideas with the drum beats (Tal) and musical rhythms. The dance runs in three phases i.e. Sthayee (Permanent posture), Madhyala (Intermediate movements), and Drut (Faster movements). Various topics from Ramayana and Mahabharata, abstract ideas, and common social incidents form the subject matter of these dances.

Mayurbhanj ChhauMayurbhanj Chhau dance form has a long history. Originally a tribal dance, which originated from the forests of Mayurbhanj, Odisha, in the 18th century, it got the status of a martial art form in the 19th century.

Slowly & steadily Mayurbhanj Chhau left its martial character and got mellowed. Under the royal patronage it received proper attention & direction and showed a bright future and utmost perfection as a dance of excellent style in the field of eastern art and culture of India. Mayurbhanj Chhau is performed without masks and is technically similar to the Seraikella Chhau.

The Performances

Jatraghat It is a musical offering that evokes the gods and marks the beginning of a Seraikella Chhau & Mayurbhanj Chhau dance performance.

Radhakrishna by Govind Mahato & Veena Choudhary (Seraikella Style)

In this particular dance composition Krishna’s mellifluous flute forms an intrinsic part of the love imagery.

Hansa by Satish Kumar Modak

This depicts the beauty of the stately swan as it swims in its natural habitat of water.

Dandi by Niroj Kumar Mohanta & Phudan Majhi (Mayurbhanj Style)

This episode is taken from the Upanayana ceremony of a Brahmin boy.

Mayura by Sukant Acharya (Seraikella Style)

The peacock is a bird known for its grandeur and beauty. This bird of extraordinary beauty- its feelings of joy and vanity, and the qualities of grace in its movements are given an anthropomorphic representation.

Geeta by Bibhuti Bhusan Mohanta & Rajkapur Mohanta. (Mayurbhanj Style)

The dance depicts an episode from the Mahabharata, the epic based on the concept of Shrimad Bhagavad Geeta’s Sainya Darshana Yoga.

The Director

Representing the fifth generation in a family of traditional performers who have significantly contributed in the evolution and development of Chhau dance, Sapan Kumar Acharya is steeped in the tradition of Seraikella Chhau. He has inherited the knowledge of this art form from his father Guru Lingaraj Acharya. He has been awarded with Junior and Senior Fellowships from Ministry of Culture, Government of India. He is a visiting faculty of Chhau at Attakalari Movements of Arts, Bangalore, an Artistic Director of Acharya Chhau Nrutya Bichitra, Seraikella, and a Teacher at Triveni Kala Sangam, New Delhi. He has been training students of both dance and theatre for the past 15 years.

The Group

Acharya Chhau Nrutya Bichitra was founded by Late Guru Lingaraj Acharya in the year 1980. Since then the institution has been training several artists in Seraikella Chhau dance. Guru L.R. Acharya was one of the last gurus of the Purthosahi Akhada, one of the eight Akhadas of Seraikella Chhau dance schools. 
Apart from training dancers, the institution has participated in various national and International dance festivals in India as well as abroad like India International Mask Dance Festival, the first international festival and seminar on Dance and Martial Arts of Asia, Yuva Mahotsava, a festival of all styles of Chhau dance, and Chidambaram and Ikeri temples. It has also been selected as one the training centers by the Sangeet Natak Akademi under its project to support to Chhau dance.

Cast & Credits

The Team: Sukant Kumar Acharya, Satish Kumar Modak, Ranjit Kumar Acharya, Shubham Acharya, Govind Mahato, Veena Choudhary, Bhibhuti Bhusan Mohanta, Rajkapur Mohanta, Niroj Kumar Mohanta, Phudan Majhi, Surendra Nath Soren, Yogesh Kumar Shankar, Bhagaban Behera, Shashadhar Acharya

Guru: Sapan Kumar Acharya


Manohar Khushalani

Manohar Khushalani

Prof. Manohar Khushalani is a former Visiting Faculty at Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi. The courses he taught were: Animation & Graphics, Non-Linear Editing for Film and Radio and Theatre Appreciation.  He has won a total of nine Excellence in Teaching awards for all the courses he has taught at IIITD Earlier he retired from Government of India as Director Environment Management, Central Water Commission and held many senior positions in the Government Based on a Belief that Culture and Environment are the two keys to global sustainability , Manohar Khushalani has launched two portals: A Portal on Environment and Water called One Vorld at url: and two Ezines on Culture called Stage Buzz at url: He has taught extensively in varied subjects such as Dam Safety, Instrumentation, CAD, IT, Animation, Theatre, Newspaper Editing. He has conducted Courses on Environment Management, Water Shed Development, Team Building and Personality Development. He was an Expert Member of Prasar Bharti’s Committee for Grading & Short listing Films for Telecast on all channels of Doordarshan.  He is a Radio Anchor for All India Radio and has moderated several programs for the Rajdhani Channel He is a well-known Theatre Actor/Director and Critic, has been involved in theatre since 1977. He has worked as an actor in over 50 plays with almost every leading director/Actor in the Country including Badal Sircar, Feisal Alkazi, Amal Allana, M.K. Raina, Anuradha Kapoor, Maya Rao, Manohar Singh, Prasanna, Rati Bartholomew and Sushmita Mukherji. He has been active in the social sector as a street theatre activist. As a member of Workshop Theatre, Theatre Union and Prayog, Khushalani has participated in street plays taking up major social issues such as dowry, bride burning, Sati, banned medicinal drugs and communalism. Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Can’t Pay Won’t Pay, both directed by him, received rave notices from critics and audiences alike. Other plays directed by him include Badal Sircar’s, Sagina Mahato and Boris Vian’s Empire Builders for Ruchika Theatre Group. Khushalani has also acted in a few films such as Sudhir Mishra's Hazaron Khwaishen Aisi , Shoojit Sircar’s Madras Café and Pradeep Krishan's Annie Gives Those Ones. He is an Animator & Graphics Designer and has directed a number of documentaries. He also held a number of Honorary positions and was President of North India Films Association, He was the Chairman of  Jury for UGC CEC Educational Films Competition and has been on their Preview Committee since last many years. He was on the preview committee of Door Darshan Channel 3, was a visiting Professor at National School of Drama, New Delhi, and Film & Television Institute of India, Pune, AJKMCRR, Jamia Milia Islamia and Professor in Media at FICT, Delhi  He has judged a large number of Drama Competitions and conducted a number of Theatre / Management Games Workshops with Institutions such as AIIMS, NTPC, CWPRS, NWA, Karve Nari Prakshishan Sansthan, FICT, IIT, MAMC, Gargi College, KNC, Tagore International School and Vivekananda School. He is a Theatre Critic for IIC Diary, has also been a Columnist with Midday and Pioneer Daily and wrote Column's Called Culture Cocktail and Footlights Respectively. He was also the Guest Editor for an issue on Folk Theatre of ICCR Journal Horizons. He has written for Times of Indian, Hindustan Times, Blitz, Hard News, Hindu Business Line, Theatre India & Art Times. He has designed dams and hydraulic structures for the Government. He is a programmer and has developed Engineering design software in Fortran. He is a co-author of Irrigation Practice & Design (Vol 1 to5 - 1500 pages) published by Oxford & IBH and sponsored by National Book Trust. He has been a Director, Environment and Sociology, at the National Water Academy, Khadakwasla and Director, Environment Management Directorate, Central Water Commission and Member Secretary, National Environmental Monitoring Committee for River Valley Projects. He was also Director of Instrumentation Directorate in the Dam Safety Organisation. He was Chief General Manager and Head of Water Resources at Scott Wilson and is an accredited consultant with numerous other organizations He is a Delhi Public School, BITS Pilani, IIT Delhi and FTI Pune Alumini. He was also the President of BITS Pilani Alumni Association, Pune.

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