Shashadhar Acharya

Born in 1960 in Seraikella into a family of traditional performers, Shri Shashadhar Acharya was initiated into Chhau dance by his father Shri Lingaraj Acharya. He continued his training under Natasekhar B.B. Pattnaik, Shri Suddhendra Narayan Singh Deo, Vikram Kumbhakar, and Kedarnath Sahoo. He has also studied the Chhau dance of Mayurbhanj under Shri Alok Niranjan Bisoi and has had training in Dhol-playing under Shri Surumukhi. Between 1990 and 1993, Shri Acharya served as Director of the Government Chhau Dance Centre at Seraikella. He has been teaching movement to students of theatre as a visiting lecturer at the National School of Drama, Delhi, for a number of years. Shri Shashadhar Acharya has excelled both as a performer and teacher, and has perfor- med extensively within and outside the country. He has conducted workshops and seminars for departments of theatre, and has undertaken collaborative work with actors and directors of both traditional and modern drama. Shri Acharya is featured in a film on the Chhau dance of Seraikella produced by the Centre for Cultural Resources and Training. He is imparting training in Seraikella Chhau to young dancers in Delhi under Sangeet Natak Akademi’s project in support of Chhau dance. Shri Shashadhar Acharya receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribu- tion to the Chhau dance of Seraikella.