This is a folk dance of Seraikella Kharsawam region. The word Chhau
signifies a mask. Originally a war dance to perfect fighting techniques,
it has over the years evolved into a narrative ballet. The dancer's identity
and sex are concealed on account of the mask he wears when performing
the Chhau. On the eve of the spring festival, every year, people in Seraikella
celebrate with the colourful show of 'Chhau' performance. The Seraikella
royalty preserves, projects and participates in Chhau, in the month of
Chaitra Paru, April in the venue of the kings palace.
The Adivasi version of the Chhau is called Sastriya Nritya.
In the performance of Sastriya Nritya, the dancers sometimes do not use
the mask. The use of songs, a common feature of all folk dances is wholly
absent in the Chhau. The dancer expresses mood or theme through the medium
of varied gestures, all of the exquisite artistic appeal to the accompaniment
of the veena,
All there folk dances have their roots in the traditions of the region
in the past.