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'Yakshagana needs UNESCO recognition', says Veerappa Moily

New Delhi, Wed, 10 Aug 2011 ANI

New Delhi, Aug 10 (ANI): The four-day Yakshagana festival, which concluded here earlier this week, provided a rich fare to people in Delhi making them aware of the rich traditions of centuries old performing art of Karnataka.


Eminent artistes performed at the festival, which was inaugurated by the Minister for Corporate Affairs, Veerappa Moily, who endorsed the demand for recognition of the art form from UNESCO as 'Intangible heritage of Humankind'.


The 'National Festival of Yakshagana' held at Delhi Karnataka Sangha in Ramakrishnapuram was jointly organized by Karnataka Yakshagana Bayalata Academy, Bangalore and Academy of Tenku Tittu Yakshagana, Delhi.


Karnataka Chief Minister D. V. Sadananda Hegde was to participate in this festival, but was held up for the swearing-in-ceremony in Bangalore.


Veerappa Moily, a former Chief Minister of Karnataka himself, said that 'Yakshagana is a performing art in which different channels of communication like dance, music, costumes and impromptu dialogues etc. works together for a single effect'.


"I was a successful lawyer because of Yakshagana where lots of arguments take place. In fact coastal Karnataka has archived something special in all fields due to this art form," said Moily.


Moily pointed out that some of the basic elements in Yakshagana like music and dance are independent artistic forms by themselves. Language, the most highly developed of all sign systems is also used prominently in Yakshagana. All these channels function together in the performance of a form like Yakshagana.


These different sign systems function differently using different media of communication like sound, body, language, color and movements. As a result, different messages may be transmitted during the course of the performance. Yet the performance as a whole leads to one comprehensive message where all these messages converge in to one'.


The President of Yakshagana Bayalata Academy, Kumble Sundara Rao, made an impassioned appeal during the festival for the recognition of Yakshagana, as the unique art form of Karnataka. A Yakshagana artist himself, he donned the attire to perform, even though he is in his late seventies. ther senior artistes, who were honoured at the concluding function of the festival included Chittani Ramachandra Hegade, Kilyur Ramachandra Rao, and Surikumer Govinda Bhat.


The richness of Yakshagana as an art form was first demonstrated in the capital over four decades ago by noted author and Jnanapeeth awardee Dr. Shivarama Karanth, and later by dramatist B. V. Karanth.


During the four-day festival in Delhi the artistes performed Yakshagana plays - Bhasmasura Mohini, Krishna Parijata, Sudhanva Moksha, Jambavati Kalyana, Veera Abimanyu, and Gadhayudda. They also had special presentations on Tala Maddale. It was a unique experience to see the episodes in an auditorium, while the performance in Karnataka are held in open fields lasting from late evenings lasting till dawn break, the beat of drums heard across for miles.


The team also held demonstrations at the National School of Drama and the Delhi University in the national capital.


The demonstrations showcased the unique nature of the art. In particular, the demonstrations depicted: the oddolaga of Devendra (A grand entry of God, Devendra along with two of his dikpalas, Agni (fire god) and Varuna (water god), the oddolaga of Ravana (A grand entry of Ravan, demon king of Lanka), the oddolaga of Hanuman (Grand entry of Hanuman-a monkey god, the Oddolaga of Shrikrishna (Grand entry of Lord Shrikrishna) and Entry of a Female Character


All demonstrations were followed by useful discussions on the language of Yakshagana.


Dr. Venkatachala Hegde, President Delhi Karnataka Sangha, who is a professor in the Jawaharlal Nehru University urged the Yakshagana lovers to take care of the copyright issues, which is very important to preserve the cultural heritage.


Dr. Purushottama Bilimale, Director of American Institute of Indian Studies, spoke about the contributions of the artists and the uniqueness of Yakshagana as a performing art.


The Academy of Tenku Thittu Yakshagana (ATTY) based in Delhi has played a major role in introducing the art form to people in northern part of the country, by holding performances both in Kannada and in Hindi.


The contribution of the Directors of the Academy, Sharavu Krishna Bhat and Yakshagana artist Vidya Kolyur, received warm recognition at the festival. (ANI)


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