Culture & Litrature

Clamour grows for Yakshagana to become Karnataka’s showpiece art

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YAKSHASIRIMANGALORE:  Will Yakshagana become the representative performing art of Karnataka?

Some writers and art lovers here expect the seven-member committee constituted by the State government to draft a comprehensive cultural policy to identify the performing art of the State. They suggest that Yakshagana fits the bill.

Prabhakar Shishila, a writer and winner of Masti Award for his historical novel “Nadi Yeradara Naduve”, said that Yakshagana qualified to become the exhibition art of the State.


He said that there were two main forms of Yakshagana. The ‘paduvalapaya’ form included two styles that is ‘badagu thittu’ (northern style) and ‘tenku thittu’ (southern style). They were being performed in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Uttara Kannada, Shimoga, parts of Chikmagalur and in Bangalore. The ‘moodalapaya’ form comprised ‘doddata’ and ‘sannata’ performed in central and north Karnataka districts. As Yakshagana was widely performed in other towns and cities in the State now it would be an opportunity for the committee to identify it as the exhibition art of the State, he said.

M. Mohan Alva, chairman, Alva’s Education Foundation, Moodbidri, which hosts a series of cultural and music programmes annually, concurred with the views of Mr. Shishila.

He said that Kerala had projected Kathakkali and Mohiniyattam as its exhibition arts. Orissa government had Odissi and Manipur government Manipuri as their exhibition arts. Many states have declared their state animals and birds. But Karnataka has not declared its exhibition art. Yakshagana deserves the status, he said.

Artist Dinesh Holla said that after Jnanpeeth award-winner late Shivaram Karanth took Yakshagana troupes to many foreign countries, especially in Europe, people there identified Karnataka with Yakshagana. It was especially so in England, Germany, France and Italy. People identified Yakshagana kites at kite festivals easily, he who had participated in many international kite festivals said.

Mr. Holla said that the vivacity of Yakshagana, including its costume, dance and music, deserved it to become the representative exhibition art of the State.

D. K. Chowta, one of the members of the committee, said that the committee would visit nine places in the State and would hold consultations with people before finalising its draft.

Mr. Chowta said that the committee would also hear the opinions of cultural organisations.

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