Thursday, August 12, 2010
Yakshagana is a dance form popular in coastal regions of Karnataka. The dance form is believed to have evolved from ancient pre classical music period and theatre. Yaksha gana means the song of Yakshas. They were an exotic tribe mentioned in the Sanskrit literature of ancient India. This dance dialogue form is popular in Uttar Kanada, Udupi, Kasargod,Shimoga and is compared to western opera.An interesting fact of Yakshagana is its use in puppetery.YakshaGana is composed of two main parts:
Himmela the Background music group and Mummela the dance dialogue group. Together they are known as Yakshagana Prasanga. The performance usually consists of the rendering of a story from a Hindu epic or purana. There is a narrator known as Bhagawatha who narrates on the basis of precomposed dialogues set to music. It can be classified in to Classical, Folk or even Rural Dance form. A beautiful dance form rich in costumes highly traditional and full of touching performance by the dancers/ actors is traced back to eleventh century AD. An amazing blend of Sanskrit dance drama Yakshagana is played at twilight hours. The colourful masks worn by the performers is a visual delight.
Most of the dance troupes remained associated with the temples, therefore many Training facilities could not be developed. There are even today very few training institutes in the coastal belt of Karnataka. Government is doing a lot for revival of this dance form and there is a lot of activity in the area of training and research at Bengaluru.