The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Showcase to save tribal art

Jamshedpur, April 5: Selection trials for the four-day Seraikela Chhau Mahotsav, scheduled to start from April 10, kicked off today at Seraikela Government Chhau Centre.

About 100 teams for different style ' Seraikella, Kharsawan and Manbhum ' are expected to take part.

In an attempt to promote the traditional tribal dance, the state government began the annual chhau festival just after the formation of Jharkhand.

However, the state government is not providing any financial help this time to the festival due to lack of co-ordination between the district and the state cultural ministry.

According to deputy commissioner of Seraikella-Kharsawan Agapit Soreng, also the chairman of the organising committee, the selection trial has been divided into different rounds.

About 40 teams from various villages participated in the trials for Seraikela style today. The next two days have been allotted for Kharsawan and Manbhum style respectively in which another 60 teams will take part.

Director of government chhau centre Tapan Patnayak said this year prize money has been declared to attract maximum participation.

Prize money for the winner will be Rs 12,000, a hike of Rs 2,000.

Similarly, the prize money for first and second runner-up has been raised to Rs 10,000 and Rs 8,000. There will also be three consolation prizes of Rs 2,500 each.

Patnayak said for the first time, the government has also given clearance for travelling allowance to the participating teams. Groups coming from Seraikela and adjoining area will be given Rs 500 as travelling allowance. Those coming from Kharsawan will be given Rs 750 and groups coming from Manbhum will get Rs 1,000.

The deputy commissioner said this time the festival would also try to promote other traditional dances which are not known to common people.

Invitation has been extended to artists to stage other traditional dance forms on the inaugural day.

The district administration has also requested the state art and culture department to make arrangements for folk and classical dancers coming form other states.

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