The local young people of Purulia regular come to this Folk Art Centre to learn and practice Chau dance. The veteran Chau dancers Anil Mahato, Jagannath Chowdhury, Biren Kalindi and others teach primary steps and also the nuances of the traditional dance to the aspiring artists. The budding artists get the opportunity to practise with the melody and rhythm of the traditional musical instruments. It is known as Maldi Chau Shibir.
41 Chau maskmakers including 3 women participated in a workshop at Charida on 5 Feb, 2021. The objective of this workshop was to share the outcomes of the HIPAMS project with the larger community, to listen the experience of the artists and to identify the future course of action for the community. The artists discussed how the social media training has helped them cope with the pandemic by sharing products on social media platforms opening up new income avenues. The new innovative packaging was appreciated by the community and they shared instances of customer appreciation of packaging. They also decided to order packaging for larger products after a detailed discussion with the community. The Chau maskmakers shared about their new innovative products like masks on COVID, new characters like Mahishi (sister of demon Mahisasura), mask decoration made using natural ingredients like jute, leaves, pulses and seeds. The artists came up with the way forward like creating WhatsApp group to disseminate information among the community and Facebook page for collective promotion.
A workshop was organized with the Chau dancers on 5 Feb, 2021 at Maldih, Balarampur to share the outcomes of the HIPAMS project with the larger community, to listen the experience of the artists and to identify the future course of action. Around 37 artists including 5 women warmly participated in the workshop. The Chau Dancers presented their new production - "Mukosh Khola Mukh" (Seeing the mask less faces) on the struggle of women Chau dancers and attribution issues of Chau dancers. The Chau dancers shared how the social media trainings have helped them to take better photos and videos of their practices, performances and other events. Biren Kalindi shared that his group has received a performance opportunity by posting videos on Youtube. They discussed the present eco-system for skill transmission and commented that the resource centre at Maldih has been conducting classes everyday with senior gurus coming in every week to take classes. The Chau dancers also shared about their new Palas (productions) like COVID. There was a discussion on traditional themes and role of QR Code. The artists came up with the way forward like creating WhatsApp group to support promotion of their art.
"We have come to know about the process of mask making at this Folk Art Centre. It wonderfully displayed the wide range of Chau masks. We are very happy to be here and will tell our friends and relatives about the different type of masks."