MU preparing stage for schoolchildren

Students from 12 schools are getting trained in Yakshagana

P Dayanand Pai and P Satish Pai Yakshagana Adhyayana Kendra of Mangalore University is gearing up for Yakshagana mela of children.

The Kendra has been training schoolchildren from 12 schools in and around the university campus for the past few months and the mela is likely to be ready in the next few months.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Kendra Director Dr K Chinnappa Gowda said that initially around 60 have been selected and Yakshagana guru Kumble Shivashankar Bhat has been giving them free training for about three hours on Saturdays.

About 20 of them were selected during a screening test and their skills will be honed.
The training will resume in June after summer vacation break.

 “Our plan is to train the students for the university’s Yaksha Mangala troupe. Veteran artiste Surikumeru Govinda Bhat has also agreed to fine-tune the dance skills of the children during the training.”

To begin with, they were taught to stage some tailor-made episodes.

Now, they are trained in performing ‘Krishna Leele.’ They were being trained in mummela (performers) and not in himmela (background artistes), he said. 

“It is not that we just want to train them in one episode and leave them. We want the students to learn at least for two to three years, so that they will get a clear picture on Yakshagana,” he said.

Mangalore University Vice Chancellor Prof T C Shivashankaramurthy said that one of the objective of the Yakshagana Study Centre was to provide free training to youth. The university had already conducted Yakshagana competition for college students. For the first time, it is conducting the training  for the schoolchildren. During this training programme, students are exposed to Yakshagana museum in the centre.

“The response for the training was very encouraging. We want to strive for conserving the art form for the future generation by this training. Normally, the younger generation are not exposed to such training.”

The kendra has a museum with models of Yakshagana characters of Tenku Thittu and Badagu Thittu forms. The models made of fibre are of five-and-a-half feet to seven feet in height.

This museum has an exclusive library which has a huge collection of books related to Yakshagana. Huge models of Yakshagana characters like Kiratha Vesha, Bheemana Mudi and Hanumantha Bannada Vesha are the main attraction here.

The kendra has photographs of eminent artistes and a collection of audios and videos of some Yakshagana performances in Kannada, Hindi, English and Sanskrit.

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