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by M.bhat
YAKSHAGANA

- the music of celestial beings

Yakshagana a form of a dance drama performed predomininently in South kanara and certain parts of North kanara Districts of the State of Karnataka has a 400 hundred year old tradition.It is a typical folk form of drama , commonly performed at night on a platform-like stage in the open air with themes based on Hindu Epics like the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and mythological tales from the Puranas.Though described as folk it has strong classical connections. The night long event with gorgeous costumes, elaborate make-up, quick movements, beating of drums and the narration of songs by the Bhagavatar put the audience in a trance....the total effect is spell binding . Yakshagana a mixture of dance & drama has its soul in its music ie Gana .As prescribed in the Natya Sastra, it has the Suthra Dhara (conductor) & the vidushaka (the Jester).

The real richness of this art is seen in predominately rural areas where even with the lack of proper transporation the villagers attend the performances in sizeable strengths.Yakshagana enjoys immense popularity and its exponents are honoured.The stage is set in the open air in paddy fields.As the night wanes away one feels that there is an amalgam of the sky and the earth as the singing and drumming merge with the dances of the performers clad in costumes of striking colour and contours. A visit to this region is incomplete without witnessing a Yakshagana performance. To sum it up It is a cherished cultural possession of the coastal districts of Karnataka.

View Images Of Performances

Contributions of Dr.Karanth to Yakshagana

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