Kids gung-ho about yakshagana

Kids gung-ho about yakshagana

10 years ago, renowned Yakshagana exponent of the district Ravi Alevooraya dreamt of forming a Yakshagana school for young and enthusiastic students in order to promote this art among the children and the youth.

In 10 years of span, the school has been opened and has taken the shape of a troupe performing over 350 shows in different parts of the coastal districts.
Sarayu Bala Yaksha Vrinda, as it is popularly known as, was started in January 2003 under the able guidance of Ravi Alevooraya.

The troupe that was started with merely six students who were then undergoing training, has at least 20 regular students now. Over 70 students are the proud alumni of this Yakshagana school and they are now rendering their service in various capacities.

The credit goes to Sarayu Bala Yaksha Vrinda for staging Yakshagana performances in five different languages. Perhaps this is the only children’s troupe in the nation to stage Yakshagana in Kannada, Sanskirt, Hindi, English and Tulu.

Speaking to City Herald, proprietor of Sarayu Bala Yaksha Kendra, Ravi Alevooraya said that the Yaksha Kendra which started off in a small way 10 years ago, has come a long way now.

“There are several schools teaching Yakshagana to students, but ours is the only institute which teaches Yakshagana to students in five languages. The basic idea behind staging it in different languages is to promote this art for varied audience, so that Yakshagana does not get restricted itself to Kannada speaking audience,” he said.

Recalling one of the shows, where his students performed English Yakshagana in front the team of delegates from Srilanka who had arrived at Mangalore, he says that the foreign delegates thoroughly enjoyed the show as it was performed in English.

The scripts mostly written by him are translated by language experts to make it enable for performing on the stage.

The students between the age group of six to 17 years can become the members of the troupe. The classes are held on every Sundays from 4 pm to 6 pm at the house of Ravi Alevooraya in Kodikal.

Yaksha Kendra stages 40 performances on an average in a year. Some of the popular Prasangas staged by the team members are ‘Sri Krishna Paramya,’ ‘Daksha Yajna,’ ‘Narakasura Moksha,’ ‘Rukmini Swayamvara’ and ‘Lava Kusha’ among others.

One of the students of the troupe, Rohit who has undergone training for six years said that staging Yakshagana in five languages has helped him to improve the command over the languages to a great extent.

“Apart from performing Yakshagana, I have also learnt, costume making, make-up tactics etc. To perform in front of varied audience indeed is a great joy,” he said.

Two CDs of the students’ performance of ‘Sri Krishna Paramya’ and ‘Jambava Vilasa’ have been released.

As the school is celebrating decennial celebrations this year, Ravi Alevooraya hass planned to organise ‘Makkala Yaksha Utsava’ by inviting at least 10 children’s Yakshagana troupes.

“As we have entered the 10th year, I have plans to build a building to run the school, which at present is taking place at our home.”

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