Giving colours to characters

Women's world

Giving colours to characters

Madhyama Prasaran and Scientific Research Foundation (MPSRF) is organising a series of events to celebrate the spirit of a women and offers a tribute to their multiple roles.

Bangaloreans were witness to one such event at K H Kala Soudha recently where an all-woman troupe — Chitpavana Mahila Yakshagana Mandali gave some know-how about this beautiful dance form through a make-up workshop.

The makeup workshop broke many myths about the preparation involved before a Yakshagana performance. Four basic colours — red, yellow, white and black was all that was used to give colour to the various characters in the Yakshagana. Pernu and Seena, the talented duo, aided the participants in getting the foundation colour right.

Slight pink was the order of the day and the participants were seen mixing all the colours with coconut oil to obtain the colour. The end of this session saw all participants turning a beautiful pink. Pernu and Seena were seen individually working on the characters to bring out the essence of the character.

“The make-up depends on the vesha. For a Kiritavesha, the mudras are larger, while for Punduvesha, they are comparatively smaller,” they said pointing to the design on a character’s face, who played the king.

Highlighted eyebrows, beards and varied naamas (mark worn on the forehead) were all drawn to give emphasis to the features of the character. The make-up also relied on protocol passed on from generations.

“For a character that has pravesha (entry) first, we don’t use the colour black in the centre of the naama as it is considered inappropriate to start with the colour black,” they said elaborating on some of the protocols.

Sandhya Londhe, a member of the Yakshagana team’, said, “The support of the family is essential if you want to pursue Yakshagana. Our troupe comprises family and friends. For a king’s role, the weight of the costume comes close to 20 kilos. So it is essential to be physically fit. It can picked up at any age provided one has the patience to work hard.”

The make-up workshop was followed by a film screening. Meryll, the 20-minute short film, threw light on child abuse. The film was followed by the much awaited Yakshagana performance. The troupe performed the colourful Jambavati Kalyana, which was wonderful to watch and garnered much appreciation from the audience.

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