After many months of negotiations, the British Library, Asian Music Circuit and myself have managed to put together a tour for the Royal Rarhi Chhau dance company from Rarh, India.
Chhau is ‘the masked dance of the ancient warrior’ and is perhaps the oldest mask dance in the world. The word Chhau is derived from the Bengali word Chhauni meaning ‘soldiers barracks’ and hence it originated as a martial dance. This is the same dance that Shrii Shrii Anandamurti would have perform each year at DMC (dharma maha cakra) as he encouraged this regional dance form as a magnificent representative of Rarhi music and dance culture.
Personally I have worked with the Royal Chhau dancers and musicians since 1996 and they are completely dedicated to their art. The have been musically trained since childhood and live a very simple lifestyle, built upon their love for Shiva and their
indigneous culture. As people also they are straightforward with a powerful depth that comes with living always near to, or on a Tantra pith (point at which someone attained salvation through spiritual practice), are both fiercely protective and tender, as their adi guru, Shiva.
I am writing to share the exciting news of the Chhau dancers performing here in London, and to see if theres anyone who would like to be their local guides, escorting them around London on their nights off, sharing their music and their friendship, by giving them some time. They are here for a short while only and they would like to meet new people and share cultural experiences. In return you will have the experience of seeing them perform, being at their their workshops if you like, and making new friends. If you would like to take them around London when they are not performing or spend time with them playing, talking, whatever, please let me know as I am looking for a few people to accompany us over the fourteen days.
Anyone interested? Here is their schedule below.
Thursday 10 July 17.45-19.00 The British Library, London Friday 11 July 17.45-19.00 The British Library, London Saturday 12 July 14.30-15.45 The British Library, London Sunday 13 July 13.00-14.15 The British Library, London Monday 14 July 17.45-19.00 The British Library, London
Wednesday 16 July time TBC workshops for school children at The Asian Music Centre, Acton, London Thursday 17 July 18.30-19.45 The Hindu Temple, Nottingham Saturday 19 July 13.00-1500 workshop and performance Larmer Tree Festival, Wiltshire 17.00-20.00 workshop and performance “Bristol Go” festival, Bristol
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