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Chhau Shakti

Building inner strength

Martial Arts
Body Movement
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About the practice workshop

What practice will I learn

Sapan Kumar Acharya's offering revolves around the ancient and graceful art form of Seraikella Chhau dance. Through his teaching, clients (students) embark on a transformative journey that encompasses inner strength, flexibility, and heightened concentration.

Benefits of this practice

Seraikella Chhau, an ancient art form initially practiced by the king's army of Seraikella, has evolved into a modern offering through Sapan Kumar Acharya's teachings. This captivating dance form is not confined to the stage; it offers a holistic approach to build inner strength and flexibility. Firstly, the intricate movements foster body balance and coordination, bolstering proprioception and reducing the risk of falls and injuries. Secondly, the rigorous practice routines enhance stamina and endurance, translating into improved energy levels and resilience in daily activities. Moreover, the graceful and fluid motions of Chhau enhance flexibility and joint mobility, alleviating stiffness and discomfort. Lastly, the art's demanding nature requires intense concentration, sharpening one's ability to focus and maintain mental clarity in various aspects of daily life. In essence, Sapan's Chhau dance teachings provide a multifaceted approach to physical and mental wellbeing, making it not just an art form but a comprehensive path to a healthier and more balanced life.

Incorporating in my life

Consistent practice is essential and participants should allocate dedicated time for daily or weekly practice sessions of 16 set of exercises.

About the specialist

Sapan Kumar Acharya is a distinguished figure deeply rooted in the centuries-old tradition of Seraikella Chhau dance, hailing from the fifth generation of a family dedicated to preserving and advancing this art form. His journey began under the guidance of his father and continued through the mentorship of revered teachers, shaping him into a versatile artist, educator, and musician. With a unique blend of traditional and modern education, Sapan's scholarly pursuits have garnered recognition from the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, and contributed to understanding Chhau's historical evolution. His passion has taken him worldwide, showcasing Chhau's beauty and complexity, and earning him accolades, including the Kala Guru Samman.

Online from
Delhi/ Jharkhand

Ancient & scientific relevance

Ancient texts that refer to this

Natya Shastra - The Natya Shastra elaborates on dance, drama, and music's spiritual and therapeutic benefits. It suggests that engaging in dance can lead to improved wellbeing by promoting physical fitness, emotional release, and spiritual elevation.

Context: A seminal treatise on the performing arts, authored by Bharata Muni, dated between 200 BCE and 200 CE.

Ashtanga Hridayam - It includes discussions on the holistic aspects of maintaining health, including the significance of physical activities that balance the doshas (body energies), which is relevant to the vigorous physicality of Chhau dance.

Context: A comprehensive text on Ayurveda, written by Vagbhata around the 7th century CE."

Modern research and publications

Research paper: Indian Classical Dances as Yoga: A Route to Powering Positive Psychological Traits

Main author: Chirmi Acharya

Date of publishing: 2016

Abstract: The paper draws parallels between Indian classical dances and yoga, emphasizing their importance in promoting health and positive psychological traits.

Research paper: Physical & Mental Health for Indian Classical Dance

Main author: P BalajiDeekshitulu

Date of publishing: 2019

Abstract: This article discusses the active, non-competitive form of exercise that Indian classical dance provides, which has potential positive effects for physical health as well as mental and emotional wellbeing. It covers therapeutic approaches with various forms of Indian dances and their effects on body movements, body balancing, expression, muscle movement, muscle constriction, and relaxation.

Introductory practice workshop

30-45 mins LIVE 1:1 online introductory practice workshop with Guru Sapan Acharya.

The session will be facilitated by the Leela Life Concierge Desk.

Plan for intro session

Introduction to brief history and origins of Chhau dance

Explanation of how Chhau dance originated from the movements of animals, birds, and natural elements like water and wind

Understand how it can help build inner strength, resilience, and mental clarity

Demonstration of various Chhau movements and forms

Engage in an interactive Q&A session ask questions, gain deeper insights, and clarify doubts about the course

Pre-requisites for the intro session

For the session, you are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing, such as loose-fitting pants and a t-shirt.

A cloth waistband is also recommended to provide support during the dance training.

Plan for overall course

The specialist will be tailoring the practice workshop for you and the exact number of sessions will depend on multiple factors such as need, inclination, interest, absorption and more.

The plan below should give you a rough indication of how many sessions will it take for you to inculcate the learnings from this practice workshop in to your regular life by yourself.

Live 1:1 online practice workshops
5 sessions
Duration of each session
60 mins
Course price

Session 1

Techniques of Chhau
  • Introduction to Chau and it's ancinet lineage
  • Practice basic Chhau movements focusing on posture and alignment
  • Learn breathing techniques for energy and focus

Session 2

Foot Works of Chhau
  • Practice different foot patterns and their meanings
  • Introduction to rhythmic variations
  • Incorporating footwork into a short sequence

Session 3

Chalis and Body Balance
  • Explore the Chalis, the walk of various animals and birds, to embody their strength and grace, while also improving balance and stability
  • Focus on fluidity and control in movement
  • Incorporate balance exercises inspired by animal movements

Session 4

Martial Arts Movements
  • Learn basic techniques to prepare the body
  • Practice a sequence that includes movements using hands and legs for agility and speed

Session 5

Integration and Reflection
  • Review and practice all learned techniques
  • Discuss the concept of inner strength and how it relates to Chhau dance
  • Reflect on personal experiences and insights gained from the practice

Frequently asked questions

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Conducted by

Guru Sapan Acharya

Chhau Dance Maestro

Course price
5 sessions • Weekly
Start with intro session
Experience live 1:1 learning & get a personalised course plan

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