Yakshagana shows stopped amid coronavirus scare

Yakshagana shows stopped amid coronavirus scare

According to the Yakshagana Mela organisers, the decision to stop the shows is a huge blow on the artistes who make a living by staging the famed folk art shows.

The coronavirus scare has hit Yakshagana shows in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts. 

All the Yakshagana shows of Kateel, Mandarthi, Dharmasthala, Saligrama, Perdoor, Sunkadakatte, Sasihithlu, Hosanagara, Hiriyadka, Saukooru, Madamakki, Haladi and other Yakshagana Melas have been suspended temporarily as a precautionary measure to check the outbreak of Covid-19.

Kateel Durgaparameshwari Prasadita Dashavatara Yakshagana Mandali has six melas (touring troupes). All the Yakshagana shows have been suspended. As there is a belief that Yakshagana shows by Kateel Mela should not be stopped once the ‘Melas’ begin the season’s tour, the Yakshagana plays will be presented in front of the Kateel Durgaparameshwari Temple every day for an hour from 7 pm to 8 pm, Kateel Temple Chief Priest Harinarayanadasa Asranna said.

A source in the Kateel Mela said, “Once the Mela starts the season’s tour, it should not stop midway. We believe Yakshagana has a sanctity equal to worshipping the Goddess. Accordingly, the priest offers Trikala Puja to Mela’s deity daily.” 

Members of the public have been banned from watching the Yakshagana being performed in front of the temple at Kateel. According to the Mela organisers, the decision to stop the shows is a huge blow on the Yakshagana artistes, who make a living by staging the Yakshagana. 

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Sindhu B Rupesh has said that all Sevas in the places of worship in the district have been banned for the time being. Accordingly, the Yakshagana shows have also been suspended.

Yakshadhruva Patla Foundation founder president Patla Sathish Shetty said, “The suspension of Yakshagana shows will cause inconvenience to artistes. But the decision taken by the district administration keeping public interest in mind should be welcomed.”

Normally, the performances of Yakshagana troupes will come to a halt immediately after the ceremonial ‘Pattanaje’ --- the 10th day in the solar month of Besa (Vrishabha Maasa) in the month of May ahead of the rainy season.