What is Yakshagana tradition?

A dance-drama performance said to have originated in the coastal regions of Karnataka, Yakshagana translates to celestial (yaksha) music (gana). With episodes from epics brought to life in villages and around paddy fields, this has traditionally been a night-long performance that brings together music, song, dance, and complex costumes. Said to have been around for centuries, Yakshagana was always performed by men, including for female characters. However, women are part of the troupe these days. It is believed that yakshagana does not normally have any set script and that the rich scholarly narrative is the visible evidence of the artist’s spontaneity. As with many other such folk theatre forms, this one is experimenting too. And if media reports are any indication, it seems to have the comforting patronage of even the younger generation today.

Yakshagana is slowly but steadily gaining popularity outside India. Amateur groups have successfully staged performances in the USA and Canada.  The performances are usually held during the months of November and May.

Picture Credit : Google 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *