theater form in India


Actors' headwear Yakshagana
Rakshasa (the demon) as depicted in Yakshagana performances

Yakshagana (Kannada: ಯಕ್ಷಗಾನ, yakṣagāna, [jɐkʃəɡaːnɐ]) is a theater form. It combines dance, music, dialogue, costume, make-up, and stage techniques with a unique style and form. This theater style is akin to Western opera and is mainly found in the coastal districts and the Malenadu region of India. Yakshagana is traditionally presented from dusk to dawn.

Quotes edit

  • ...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.
  • ...the vivacity of Yakshagana, including its costume, dance and music, deserved it to become the representative exhibition art of the State.
    • Mr. Holla in "Clamour grows for Yakshagana to become Karnataka’s showpiece art".
  • Yakshagana is traditional dance drama.
  • He [Shivram Karanth] rediscovered many ragag fs that were traditionally part of the Yakshagana repertoire but had fallen into disuse. He did away with dialogue, making songs and dance do its work instead. He added new instruments, linked dance rhythms and music rhythms, and searched for and trained talented young artists. Most significantly, he brought down the average time of a performance from eight to three hours, thus allowing Yakshagana to make its peace with the rushed modern world.
  • Karanth made Yakshagana more popular through the ballet adaptation of the art.
    • Prof B A Vivek Rai in . Deccan herald. 11 October 2013. Retrieved on 19 January 2014. 
  • Karanth’s creation can certainly place Yakshagana in a still more elevated position in world theatre.
    • In "Theatre and the World: Performance and the Politics of Culture", p. 205.

Yakshagana edit

Martha Bush Ashton (1 January 1976). Yakshagana. Abhinav Publications. pp. 28–. ISBN 978-81-7017-047-1. 

  • Yakshagana Badagtitu Baylata with its vigorous, and fast moving and yet intricate steps, sometimes rough, at other times gentle and delicate in their varied patterns, captivates the spectator and engrosses him in their essential rhythm and movement. It is in the sensual response of the audience to this movement, the beat of the drums and the pervading and persistent rhythm of the dancers’ ankle bells wherein lies the essence of this dance.
    • Martha Bush Ashton in p. 64
  • Music is an integral part of Yakshgana...The words of the songs and poems tell the story. And the rhythm of the songs dictate the timing of the percussion instruments and the dance.
  • Yakshgana songs are written to be sung in certain ragas; each raga having its own peculiar ascending and descending scale.
    • In p. 59
  • The bhagavata will chose a Śruti note, generally the same one for all of his performances, before each performance...The baghavata sets this note on the Śruti instrument (now days usually a harmonium) and this single note is played in the background whenever the bhgavata is singing.
    • In p. 59
  • One of unique features of the Yakshgana is the high-pitched voice of the bhagavata.
    • In p. 59
  • ...that Yakshagana is not considered a classical style of music frees it from the bondage of rules and allows it the freedom necessary for a living art-form.
  • In Yakshagana style when the voice oscillates, that is, quivers back and forth from one note to another, the transition is smooth and the breath flows without a break.
    • In p. 59.

Yakshagana edit

Dr.V.Raghavan in Yakshagana. Yakshagana.com. Retrieved on 19 Januaray 2014.

  • The Yakshagana can be taken to be the common name of an old type of traditional, popular vernacular drama of South India, a name common to the three linguistic areas of Tamil, Telugu and Kannada
  • The Yakshagana belongs to the South Canara in the Kannada area.
  • In South Canara, the Yakshagana is one of the two most widespread popular dramatic entertainments,
  • The vernacular name of the Yakshagana is Bayal Attam i.e. open-air play.
  • The themes of all the dramas of Yakshagana are fights and warfare, stories of veera and raudra rasas from our puranic legends.
  • The Yakshagana make up is as epic as its theme. It is decidedly more graceful, richer and more closely related to the ornamentation found in our sculpture than the Kathakali make-up.
  • The old female make-up was full of old jewellery with Makuta or Kirita etc., resembling female figures in our sculpture. The make-up includes masks also.
  • The traditional Sanskrit play and its vernacular representatives begin with some preliminary benedictory music and dance called in Sanskrit purva ranga.
  • The Yakshagana must have originally been a faithful form of Bharata’s theatre in respect of Abhinaya. As was to be seen till recently in Tamil street-plays, Abhinaya or Nritya must have been present to a large extent in the Yakshagana. But now, it has become considerably reduced, chiefly on account of the introduction of speech in an elaborate manner.
  • Though the dance with gesture (Nritya or Abhinaya) is not extensively present in Yakshagana today, the drama is remarkable for its pure dance or Nritta. This Nritta though not as elaborate and varied as the Tirmanas and Adavujatis in the |w:Nautch|Nautch]], is yet of a very attractive variety. Yakshagana is full of this dance.
  • The diction of the Yakshagana speech is exalted, strewn as it is copiously with good Sanskrit quotations. A high moral tone is se; fine truths and classic philosophic ideas make the Yakshagana a true form of liberal education, bringing to all the illiterate the essence of the wisdom of the Rishis.

External links edit

Wikipedia has an article about:
  • yakshagana. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved on 19 January 2014.