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Photographer's Note

India is a vast country. Each state is different on her own, beautiful in her own unique way. There are different kinds of dance forms that have originated in different parts of India. There are folk dances, and the traditional forms of dance. All these forms of dance essentially involve the graceful movement of hands and feet according to a particular rhythm, known as "taal" when music is played. Facial expressions, known as "bhavam" are more pronounced in the case of the traditional forms of dance.
"Chhou" is a particular tribal dance that I watched in my trip to Bhubaneswar just a few days back. Originally it is from Bengal tribes. The Chhou is unique form of masked dance. Though it can be seen here that no mask is used here. The dancer impersonates a god, animal, bird, hunter, flower etc. He/she acts out a short theme and performs a series of short themes mailny during the month of Chaitra ( April). Chhou masks have predominantly human features slightly modified to suggest what they are portraying. The performer's face being expressionless, the dancer's body communicates the total emotional and psychological tensions of a character. His/her feet have a gesture language, his/her toes are agile, functional, and expressive, like those of animal. The dancer is mute, no song is sung. Only, instrumental music ( bamboo flute, drums ) accompany him. The dance is very vigorus and acrobatic.

This was handheld picture and no tripd was used. Sharpened a bit using picasa.

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Additional Photos by Sayan Chakrabarti (sayan) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 559 W: 76 N: 686] (2617)
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