Academic touch for Yakshagana in Kasargod

33 students are undergoing month-long training at Edaneer Mutt

The premises of Edaneer mutt in Kasargod district is reverberating with the sound of Tala, Natya and Bhagavathike of Yakshagana for the last 24 days thanks to the initiative of Yakshagana Research Centre of Government College in Kasargod as it is holding a month-long Yakshagana training course under the Kerala government’s special development package for Kasargod.

The move has given an academic touch to the great art form of Tulunadu.
A total of 33 students, including 23 girl students, pursuing plus two to postgraduation courses, are undergoing training at the residential Yakshagana camp.

Yakshagana Research Centre coordinator Rathnakar Mallamoole told DH that the Kerala government announced funds for Kasargod Development Package following the recommendations of Prabhakaran Commission. Under the package, the government sanctioned Yakshagana Research Centre by releasing a sum of Rs 5 lakh last year. In 2016-17, a sum of Rs 10.60 lakh was approved by the government to carry out activities. Accordingly, the camp is being organised, he explained.

He said, “There is a notion among the general public that the younger generation are least bothered about the culture of the land. But our training programme has proved it wrong. The young generation has fallen for the beauty of this old classical art form. The students who did not have any background of Yakshagana have fallen in love with the Tala and other intricacies associated with Yakshagana.

Theory classes are held till afternoon. Later, they interact with the senior Yakshagana stalwarts who visit the camp along with learning the intricacies on ‘Bannagarike’,  ‘Mukhavarnike’ (facial make-up), ‘Veshagarike’ (costume design), and ‘Natya' (dance) and so on. The participants have also watched Yakshagana of Edaneer Mela from 7 pm to 12 midnight.”

Well-known Yakshagana artistes like Suri Kumeri Govinda Bhat, Dr Sridhara Bhandary, Kumble Sridhar Rao, Balakrishna Mavvaru, Tharanatha Vorkady, Subraya Holla and others have visited the camp and shared their experiences with the participants.

Further, more than 680 visitors from Thiruvananathapuram, Bengaluru, and surroundings of Kasargod have visited the camp as well. “It is true that all participants cannot be made perfect Yakshagana artistes in a 30-day camp. However, a taste for Yakshagana has been inculcated in them which they will continue to nurture,” Mallamoole felt.

He said that Kasargod MLA N A Nellikkunnu and Manjeshwara former MLA C H Kunhambu have promised to impress upon the Kerala government to continue such camps. All the 33 students will make Yakshagana Rangapravesha shortly. The students were fascinated with the mythology, stories associated with each Yakshagana play along with its colourful constumes, minute details of enacting, and rythm of music, he said.

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