'No documentation to trace back Yakshagana's roots'

'No documentation to trace back Yakshagana's roots'

Though Yakshagana was known as a traditional art, it was ironic that there weren’t any records documenting the various forms and concepts of the art form.

Speaking at a workshop on Yakshagana organised by Yaksha Kaumudi Trust, Srirangapatna, in Mysore, on Sunday, he said that artistes had made “enormous contribution” to the art since ages. But no records had been maintained, as a result of which many aspects had remained unknown to the world.

He said that the future of the art could be bright with appropriate measures taken to preserve it. Audience, scholars as well as artistes should actively participate in the process.

He said that dance form was a language used to communicate to the audience effectively.

Bharadwaj said that many mudras of Bharathanatyam have been included in Yakshagana, aside from the art having the native gestures. A whole scene could be conveyed through dance in Yakshagana. “The art includes merging aspects of various other forms which enriches its glory,” he added.

Generating conversations

M L Samaga, President, Karnataka Yakshagana Bayalata Academy, Bangalore, quoted writer and poet Oscar Wilde’s mention about music concerts generating conversations, in one of his plays. He said that it had been relevant in all ages and countries, as a Yakshagana performance attracted people of all walks of life, creating a friendly atmosphere.

With time, many aspects in the art forms have been considered vulgar. Most of them were very normal in previous eras.

He said that performances had turned out to be an agreement between actors and spectators. New trends in the play have been emerging, which have been accepted by the audience. The new and old should be balanced.
Many new functional gestures have been introduced in Yakshagana, the intention behind was not clearly known. “They might just be decorational. However, they are popular among audience,” he added.

Spectators’s interest

A book, ‘The Aesthetics of Wonder’ speaks about the arts which hold the interest of audience, he said, in which it has been said that regular audience knew when to applaud, while those watching it for the first time, would experience awkwardness. Samaga said that artistes should attract audience, make them wonder initially, but never leave them in the same state.

He said that some aspects were discussed, while some were accepted without discussions.

Jayaram Patil, theatre artiste said that in the current scenario, an artistes’ commitment to the arts was decreasing.

President of the Trust Ga Na Bhatta, Parameshwara Hegde Inabail and others were present.

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