Yakshagana has become popular among children

Art & Culture City

Many young people watch and learn it. Especially, children said they love the vibrant colour dressings of the artists.

Yakshagana, a traditional theatre form of Karnataka, is gaining popularity among children and youths. Children are keen on watching shows held at various places in Bengaluru.

“Children and youngsters are very much interested in this art form. They also learn it with utmost interest…. If children learn it from a young age, they can learn much, Mythili K.S., founder and director of the Cappella School of Art, informed The Observer.

The Observer found young children watching a Yakshagana show with interest. “I like the show because the dancers are wearing colourful costumes,” said Yashika K, a class 4 student at Café Down the Alley.

C. Krishnamurthy, father of Yashika, said: “This art form is very famous in Karnataka. We want our children to know about these traditional art forms. In the era of mobiles and laptops, they should also know about the tradition.”

Yakshagana artists have played a big role in popularizing it.

“I got into this art form because of my mother. She is a great performer of Yakshagana. I started learning from at a very young age, and I enjoy performing it,” Srinidhi Holla, a popular Yakshagana artiste in Bengaluru, shared.

Jayaram Raipuria, a Yakshagana artist and teacher, said artists have the freedom to change and enact anything. “Over the years, this art has gained interest among people. Many come to watch it.”

Tickets for Yakshagana shows in Bengaluru are sold in large numbers. They are priced between Rs 200 and Rs 500. Various workshops are conducted in the city to teach the art form to young students.

Through Yakshagana, artistes portray not only the dance form but also talk about societal issues.

Artistes take about an hour to get ready. The costumes and jewellery worn by Yakshagana artistes used to be heavy.  Earlier, the works on costumes were made of wood, but now they are made of fibre.

“It takes a minimum of one hour to get ready before our performance. We do not get help from anyone and do everything on our own. There are a lot of accessories for this art form. The future of Yakshagana will be a mix of both traditional and modern forms,” said Manoj Bhat, another artist who performs and teaches.

“Though it is a traditional form, today’s artists are trying to mix fusion with this art form to make it more interesting to audiences. In this generation, where young children are addicted to mobiles, such art forms give them a gist of old stories which they can remember easily,” Mythili said.

Yakshagana is noted for its music, colourful costumes, dance movements, expressions and extempore dialogues. It has two main variations: Moodalapaya, the eastern form which is popular in north Karnataka; and Paduvalapaya, the western form which is also known as coastal Yakshagana. Of the two, coastal Yakshagana is more popular. It is more refined when compared to other styles. Paduvalapaya is performed in the coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada.



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