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Guru Shashadhar Acharya

Guru Shashadhar Acharya stands as a pivotal figure in the narrative of Chhau, an ancient dance-theatre tradition of India. His dedication transcends mere performance, extending into the realms of teaching and artistic innovation. Born into a lineage of traditional performers in Seraikela, Jharkhand, Shashadhar Acharya inherited the legacy of Chhau, further refining his craft under the guidance of multiple gurus. His journey led him to delve into the intricacies of Chhau, pushing the boundaries of its technique both on stage and in theatrical productions. Notably, his collaboration with renowned figures like Veenapani Chawla and Ratan Thiyam expanded the horizons of Chhau beyond conventional settings, reaching audiences at prestigious venues like the Prithvi Theatre and the National School of Drama.

Beyond his performances spanning over four decades and across 75 countries, Shashadhar Acharya's commitment to the preservation and propagation of Chhau is evident. Through his institution, Acharya Chhau Nrutya Bichitra, he nurtures both aspiring dancers and actors while fostering a deeper understanding of Chhau's heritage. Moreover, his leadership in projects, such as those supported by the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi, underscores his role in shaping the future of Chhau in New Delhi and beyond. Recognitions like the Padma Shri in 2020 affirm his significant contribution to the arts, solidifying his legacy as a beacon of excellence in the realm of traditional Indian performing arts.

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