Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Monday, Oct 13, 2003

About Us
Contact Us
Metro Plus Visakhapatnam Published on Mondays

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Quest | Folio |

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Coimbatore    Delhi    Hyderabad    Kochi    Thiruvananthapuram    Visakhapatnam   

Printer Friendly Page Send this Article to a Friend

THEIR LIVES ARE DEVOID OF COLOUR!


Children suddenly burst into tears and condition of some of elders was no better. Tears rolled down the cheeks. Having enlivened his role, the demon, Mahishashura, walked back to the stage, giving a breather to the audience. The gathering at the Kaveri Kannada Sangha hall at Seethammadhara were eagerly waiting for the function to begin, when the demon with a sword in one hand and a burning torch in the other, barged into the hall and gave them some tense moments. Such was the electrifying experience of the popular folk art form from Karnataka, Yakshagana. The artistes with their heavy costumes and make-up closely resembled the mythological characters, which they portrayed on stage. On the occasion of Navaratri, the artistes presented the `Mahishashura mardhini' sequence in which Goddess Durga slays the demon Mahishashura. The artistes evoked awe among the audience with their superb performance. A few male artistes donned female roles, which is a unique feature of Yakshagana. Yakshagana is essentially a stage art form, which entertains and educates the rural folk. The artistes travel from village to village, perform at a temple and camp there for the night. Drums and cymbals provide the background music. The performance starts with the Bhagavatha (singer) singing a song. The performers have to act, sing, dance and deliver lengthy dialogues from the epics and tales from Hindu mythology. Nidle Govind Bhat, the troupe leader, who donned the role of Mahishashura, belongs to the first batch of t


he Yakshagana Lalitha Kala Kendra School at Dharmasthala in Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka. He had started his career as an artiste at the temple of Sri Manjunatheswara in Dharmasthala in 1972. About 15 years later, he formed his own troupe, ''Sri Maha Ganapathi Touring Yakshagana Mandali''. There are about 15 such troupes in Dakshina Kannada district. The local temples requisition their services from November to May every year. The performance starts around 9'o clock in the night and goes on till the wee hours. With the onset of monsoon in June, the farmers are busy in agricultural activities and the artistes have to go without a job. During such times, they tour different parts of the country and perform there on the invitation from local associations. Govind Bhat has given performances in AP, Tamil Nadu, Maharastra and Delhi, besides other cities and towns of India. ''I was the first to give a Yakshagana performance in the holy town of Tirupati six years ago,'' recalls Bhat proudly. ''It is unfortunate that the Government is not supporting our efforts in keeping the rich cultural traditions alive. The patronage of the current generation is also on the decline with the advent of TV in the rural areas,'' he laments and adds: '' The costumes are very expensive. A single crown costs Rs.5,000 and the costumes of our 16-member troupe costs about Rs.2 lakhs.'' The artistes spend several hours every day on-make up and putting on their finery but their own lives are devoid of any colour!

B. MADHU GOPAL

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Coimbatore    Delhi    Hyderabad    Kochi    Thiruvananthapuram    Visakhapatnam   

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Quest | Folio |


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |

Comments to : thehindu@vsnl.com   Copyright 2003, The Hindu
Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu