Union Minister Shobha Karandlaje Inugurates State-level Yakshagana Sammelana

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Union Minister Shobha Karandlaje Inugurates State-level Yakshagana Sammelana

Udupi: The first State-level Yakshagana Sammelana was inaugurated at the Mahatma Gandhi College Grounds here, on February 11.

Union minister for agriculture and Farmer’s welfare, Shobha Karandlaje inaugurated the State-level Yakshagana Sammelana by lighting the traditional lamp.

In her inaugural message, Shobha Karandlaje said, “Yakshagana is a complete theatre. Music, dialogue, dance, performance and all other aspects are involved in Yakshagana. It gives education and entertainment and thus nurtures society. Yakshagana attracts connoisseurs and ordinary people alike. People from foreign countries are also drawn towards the art, owing to its richness. The art of Yakshagana should preserve for the future generations”.

Prabhakara Joshi, who is the president of first government organised two-day integrated Yakshagana Sammelana, said that a matured theatre form does not endorse the loud noise (of music) and bright lighting system used during Yakshagana performance. The loud noise and bright lighting system are not good for the health of both performers and audience. The high sound (of loudspeakers) resulted in noise pollution. There are contradictions in the costume and facial make up in vogue. “Hence, there is a need to reconstruct the whole Yakshagana theatre,” he said.

The scholar’s observation at the inaugural session of the sammelana assumed significance in the wake of raging debate over the use of loudspeakers which are widely used during Yakshagana performance. The State government too has imposed restrictions/ban on the use of loudspeakers between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Mr. Joshi said that experts should come together to reconstruct the Yakshagana theatre by convincing the performers and organisers.

Mr. Joshi said that the managers of Yakshgana troupes should think seriously on maintaining quality in performance and not push Yakshagana into deformity. Ignoring quality control will be dangerous to the future of the theatre form.

He said that Yakshagana melas and the temples managing such meals should adopt an art policy to uphold the quality of performance.

Mr. Joshi said that the traditional elements of Yakshagana lost will be a “permanent cultural loss.” Likewise the unwanted additions into the theatre is like the entry of “cultural virus” which will remain for long. The additions created “aesthetic pollution,” he said.

Udupi MLA Raghupathi Bhat presided over the function. State Energy, Kannada and Culture minister V Sunil Kumar, Backworld class commission chairman K Jayakprakash Hegde, MAHE Pro-Chancellor DR H S Ballal, DC Kurma Rao M, ZP CEO Prasanna and others were present.

There will be an exhibition of portraits of 200 artists who are no more, with an introduction to them. As many as 75 artists will be felicitated on Sunday. Different idols of “Natya Ganapathi” will be displayed in the “chowki” (green room). In all, 18 books on Yakshagana will be released and 27 troupes will perform Yakshagana. There will be six sessions in which 18 persons will speak and 150 special invitees will attend those sessions with others.

There will be two all-night Yakshagana performances on February 11. Artistes of Badagu Thittu school of Yakshagana will perform ‘Rani Shashiprabha, Veera Vrushasena and Rukmavathi Kalyana’ Prasanna and the artists of Tenk Thittu school will stage Dashavatara from Saturday night till Sunday morning. There will be an interaction with Joshi on Saturday from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in which artiste Vasudeva Ranga Bhatta will interact with the president. Sessions will be held on the third stage, named after the doyen of Yakshagana, the late Keremane Shivarama Hegde. Themes of some of the sessions include challenges before Yakshagana education, Kannada and Yakshagana, Indian thoughts and Yakshagana, Women in Yakshagana, experiments in Yakshagana and the structure of Moodalapaya.

A selfie point is set up at the venue of the two-day Yakshagana Sammelana. Visitors can get facial makeup done at the venue and take selfies. Further, if anyone wants to wear the costume of Yakshagana with facial makeup, it is also available and both are paid services. An exhibition of musical instruments, costumes and other materials used in Yakshagana will also be held.

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