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'Yakshagana owes to art patrons, viewers'

Mangalore, July 5, 2013, DHNS :

In olden days, arts had the patronage of kings. Today, the art forms like Yakshagana are cherishing due to the encouragement of people, said Karnataka Yakshagana Bayalata Academy President M L Samaga. He was delivering his presidential address during the inaugural function of ‘Raghuramabhinandanam,’ a three-day programme being held to felicitate senior Yakshagana Bhagavath Puthige Raghurama Holla.

“Art patrons and viewers of Yakshagana from the coastal region have always been supporting the Yakshagana by encouraging Yakshagana artistes. The Yakshagana tradition is preserved because of valued viewers. Generally in others parts, people always look forward to the funds of the government which doesn’t happen in Dakshina Kannada. Here, people are ready to support the art and artistes, irrespective of government aid,” he said and lamented that in these days, the government fund towards the preservation of art forms is confined to seminars. When it comes to awards, they are based on fact files, i.e., documents or practical truth. But, the people of Coastal Karnataka, being art-centric, don’t believe in fact files but in the real talent of an artiste,” he said.

Noting that Yakshagana has incorporated many changes in a due course of time, espeically after Kadathoka Manjunatha Bhagavatha’s generation, he said the main change which Yakshagana incorporated was in terms of music. “Music component of Yakshagana was highlighted so as to make music a prominent feature in Yakshagana performances. Today, people  equally enjoy the performance of ‘Bhagavatha’ as the ‘Arthadharis’ and give credit to Bhagavatha as well for the success of a Yakshagana play. This is because of the efforts of Bhagavaths like Puthige Raghurama Holla, who brought Bhagavathike or singing to the forefront in Yakshagana,” he pointed out.


Alva’s Education Foundation Chairman Dr M Mohan Alva released the souvenir and told that real artiste is the one who executes his creativity by retaining the authenticity, original form and tradition of an art. “Puthige is such a talent who has created his own style without disturbing the real beauty of Yakshagana Bhagavathike. He has been one of the main cultural ambassadors of Indian art, having taken Yakshagana to foreign countries like the USA, Alva noted.

Pejavar mutt seer Shri Vishweshtheertha Swamiji graced the occasion and said Yakshagana is a great art which exemplifies the feeling of devotion. “Yakshagana has given a lot of contribution to the field of music,” he added.

Edaneeru Mutt seer Shri Keshavananda Bharathi Theertha Swamiji inaugurated the programme and said that the scholarship of Yakshagana Bhagavathas in olden days was a regular feature  while today, the tradition of scholarly Bhagavathas is slowly vanishing.
Sharavu Shri Mahaganapathi Temple Administrator Sharavu Raghavendra Shastri released the felicitation volume ‘Raghuramabhinandanam’ on the occasion. A DVD containing popular Yakshagana performances of Puthige Raghurama Holla was also released on the occasion.

Souvenir Chief Editor Ujire Ashok Bhat, felicitation volume Chief editor Saravu Krishna Bhat also spoke. Kannada Sahitya Parishat former President Harikrishna Punaroor was present.

Scenes from some of the Yakshagana plays directed by Puthige Raghurama Holla were performed on the occasion.

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