Back to All Events

Indian Martial Dance Workshop

Carolina Prada is one of the only professional female soloists of Chhau dance who has bravely and skillfully mastered an immensly male dominated art form from India.  Her name equates to strength, grace and impeccable deliverance.  Hailing from Colombia and living in India pursuing both Chhau and Odissi since 2008, she has become an accomplished dancer in the classical dance field both in India and abroad. She is one of the only female soloists of this generation to research, choreograph and perform at a professional level in both the female and the male style of Mayurbhanj Chhau. She has been striving to promote and develop the art by the hand of her Guru, Janmejoy Sai Babu. Carolina has performed extensively in renowned festivals where she has received critical acclaim. Some of them include: Khajuraho Festival, Kala Ghora, Konark festival, Delhi international Arts Festival and NYC’s Erasing Borders to name a few. 


Chhau is a semiclassical dance form that flourished under the royal patronage during the 1900's in regions of Eastern India.   The three distinctive styles are Seraikela, Mayurbhanj and Purulia.  They vary in style, body language, dress code and aesthetics but share common roots such as the martial strain, system of music, rituals, theatrical nature and the sources of their stories.   

Martial arts, one legged balancing, acrobatic turns and athletic jumps make up the grammar of Mayurbhanj Chhau.  The extensive use of the legs and the control and articulate use of the torso provide a powerful and integrated practice where movements originate from the core.  

As its technique is based on martial arts, this training brings strength, vigor, flexibility, and audacity.  However, at the same time it promotes flexibility, suppleness and a controled release of energy with softness and grace. 


This session for both males and females, will explore the softer and lyrical side of Mayurbhanj Chhau, more known as Kalibhanga.  It will cover conditioning exercises like:

- Stretching and strengthening legs, releasing movements from the torso, shoulders and back, light jumps, turns. 

We will also learn:

- Short lyrical sequences portraying male and female roles of heroes and heroins.

- Animal movements (dear, snake, crane, monkey)

- Walks: (water, ripples, waves)

- Movements of household activities. 


This session also for both males and females is special for dancers of different backgrounds or other body related practitioners that want to explore a more challenging and dynamic technique.  It will focus on the styles named Kalikata and Hatiyar dhara, the martial or more forceful aspect of Mayurbhanj Chhau.  

It will cover conditioning excersises like:

Stretching and strengthening legs, torso movements, jumps, kicks, turns, arches and one leg balances. 

We will also learn:

- walks and basic postures (walk of a warrior, walk of a hunter, flight of the crow, walk of the snake, walk of the tiger)

- movements of attack and defense ( individual and in pairs)

- Short martial art sequence

BRIEF LECTURE IN BETWEEN WORKSHOPS: 1.30-2pm (Bring your own lunch)

Topics will include general information about Chhau such as history, symbology, religious rituals, social context, present situation.  


Chisenhale Dance Space 
64-84 Chisenhale Road
London, E3 5QZ
Google Map



£30 (+£2.50 booking fee) single workshop

£55 (+£2.50 booking fee) both workshops

Earlier Event: February 18
Odissi Performance, Oxford
Later Event: March 25
Holi Festival Wolverhampton