Yakshagana - an intrinsic part of South Canara Culture
Posted: Monday, August 25th, 2008 | Views: 18209
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Yakshagana is essentially a stage art form, which entertains and educates the rural folk in masses. It is a many-splendoured performing art and is a combination of colour, glitter, vibrancy, music, sahitya and percussion. Primarily Yakshagana is for the people and its robustness combined with mother nature makes this truly a people's art form incorporating music, dance and theatre.

Usually it is performed in open fields, vast expanses and temple premises especially during night times. The Yakshagana performance involves stories from the epics and the play usually begins with an invocation to Lord Ganesha. For the people of South Canara especially the rural folk, Yakshagana is a natural and indispensable part of everyday life, across barriers of caste, creed, and class. Mythology is the prominent aspect in most Yakshagana performances.

Singing and drumming blended with dancing and the quaint dialogues from players, clad in striking costumes in myriad hues and sizes, provide an entertaining as well informative event for all those who witness this performance. The raucously played out chande, maddale and tala began with an invocation to Lord Ganesha and move on to the main story. Characters of Kings, Gods and Goddesses, Sages, Demons etc., are played with great confidence and panache and the men who disguise in women's robes and makeup go along with the mood of the story in all might often throughout the night.

Yakshagana, with its elaborate and complex make-up, complete with jewellery and headgear, is visually stunning. The dance content is primarily stylised movements, entries and exits. Each of these movements specifies the characters represented. The most common movement patterns are circles, zig-zag movements, leaps and jumps and a particular type of pirouetting that actually heightens the Yakshagana performance. The actors on stage move to the percussion beats. No matter on how much you understand the language or from which other region you are from, the art form has a fullness and openness that transcend physical barriers. The story, beats, visuals and all the action forms the core theme for a sparkling experience.

Today, Yakshagana attracts attention of lot of people from other regions and also foreigners witness this performance. There are a few instances where the foreigners themselves have dedicated to get trained in this art form and has also invoked a lot of research activity. With a continued support of South Canara people and a few organisations patronizing this art form, Yakshagana can truly withstand any onslaught from Western culture and maintain its tradition as it is a sustainable art form.

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Yakshagana
Posted By: Ramesh.T, Monday, September 01st, 2008