A chhau performer enthrals the audience in Jamshedpur at an earlier function
Dancing one’s way to good grades will now be possible at Kolhan University. Kashi Sahu College in Seraikela will be the three-year-old varsity’s first college to boast a certificate course in Seraikela Chhau and Manbhum Chhau.
The announcement of the nine-month certificate course in the two forms of chhau was made on August 13 at the university’s headquarters in Chaibasa. Now, taking the mission one step ahead, the syllabus of the proposed course will be discussed this week during an academic council meeting in Chaibasa.
The course is slated to start from November.
Kolhan University, which has shown an imaginative mindset in matters related to this course, is holding talks with Rajkiya Chhau Kala Kendra and Srikalapith, the cultural wing of the royal family in Seraikela, to design the course and form a committee to oversee how it shapes up.
The cradle for the pilot project — Kashi Sahu College — was also cherry-picked after much deliberation.
Authorities decided that as the number of chhau dancers and lovers of this form was more in Seraikela-Kharsawan district, a cradle in Seraikela was the best place to launch the project.
It will be a win-win situation for both the varsity, the cradle and local institutions which teach and promote the two forms of chhau.
Srikalapith, for instance, wanted to get its three-year degree course in Chhau affiliated from a recognised university for which it had approached Bhatkhande Music Institute University, Lucknow and others without success.
However, it finally it got acceptance from Kolhan University as the needs of both were in perfect sync.
“We went here and there but this is the best option, Kolhan University being local. Srikalapith runs a three-year course in Chhau with 40 students but our aim was to make the recognition officially on a larger scale. We are ready to expand our expertise in other colleges,” said Pratap Aditya Singhdeo, the eldest member of royal Singhdeo family.
The Rajkiya Chhau Kala Kendra, which also offers a six-year diploma in Seraikela Chhau and Manbhum Chhau forms, will also partner Kolhan University’s certificate course.
The course will be offered to students as an add-on. To make matters interesting, 75 per cent of the syllabus will be practical while 25 per cent of the lessons will be theory.
“We will start the pilot project at Kashi Sahu College as there are many takers of Seraikela Chhau in the district. But interest in chhau is growing. Later, the certificate course may be extended to other colleges,” said Salil Kumar Roy, Kolhan University vice-chancellor.
Jamshedpur Women’s College, in the heart of the steel city, had planned on starting courses on chhau.
“We had wanted a full-fledged course on chhau. We have ample space to offer classes on campus. It is now up to the university,” said its principal Shukla Mahanty.