Yakshagana is a dance drama popular in the state of Karnataka, India. It is believed to have evolved from pre classical music form and theatrical arts. Yakshagana is popular in the districts of Uttara Kannada, Shivamogga, Udupi, Dakshina Kannada and Kasaragod district of Kerala. Actors wear costumes and enact the various roles. Traditionally, Yakshaganas would go on all night. It is sometimes simply called as Aataā in both Kannada and Tulu (meaning play). Yaksha-gana literally means the song (gana) of a Yaksha. Yakshas were an exotic tribe mentioned in the Sanskrit literature of ancient India. Info from Wikipedia.
I recently had been to my native place for a couple of days for the inauguration of Ramadevi Chadaga Memorial Hall, built by my Uncle Mr. Chandrashekar Chadaga and My dad Mr. Vadiraja Chadaga. It has been their dream to make this happen in a place where they grew up.
I had the opportunity to see Yakshagana performance at the end of the inaugural event. At first I couldn’t understand what the narrator was saying. But later when I understood it I started enjoying the whole show.
What is very interesting about this is that it is only men who participate in this event. All the women roles are also played by men.
The dance is all about a narrator in the background who sings, then the actors perform the dance and also speak. Here is where Lord Krishna and Radha speak.
Here is a scene where lord Krishna turns and dances while the others watch.
They have the best facial expressions
Overall I enjoyed the whole stay at Pandeshwara (Sasthan Dt). I’m very proud of my Uncle and my Dad to have built a “Rangamandira” to encourage art in small towns.