Why Dance

This is a new column Nritya Nivedana by Dr Lalitha shrinivasan, renowned Guru of Mysore style of Bharatanatya, Director of NUPURA- school of Dance. Special focus of this coumn is Dancers lives and experiencing the unique tradition of Art.

Yakshagana: The Performance patterns

Yakshagana is one of the most popular folk theatre forms of Karnataka. It is noted for its music, colourful costumes, vigorous dance movements, subtle expressions, and extempore dialogues. Yakshagana has two main variations, each of which has many variations: Moodalapaya (the eastern form which is popular in north Karnataka) and Paduvalapaya (western style also known as coastal Yakshagana). Of the two, the coastal Yakshagana is more popular for the great sophistication that it has achieved over the years by the efforts of artists, thinkers, and researchers. It is more exuberant and refined when compared to all the other styles.   Paduvalapaya is performed in three coastal districts of Karnataka‒Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada. In the region with Mangalore at its centre (which includes Mangalore, Sullia, Puttur, Sampaaje, Bantwala, Belthangady, Karkala, Kasaragod (Kerala), Kodagu etc.) the tenkuthittu or the southern style is dominant. In Udupi district (spreading from Udupi to Kundapura and some parts of Uttara Kannada district), the badaguthittu or northern style holds sway. The extreme northern parts of Uttara Kannada district are known for the northern style (badaabadagu tittu).    

Ekavyakthi Yakshagana

Mantapa is a popular name among the female role players in Yakshagana. He has performed on 1000 stages as a female impersonator. He did many commendable experiments in Yakshagana. Mantapa fulfilled the dream of Shatavadhani R. Ganesh by successfully conducting an experiment in the Indian aesthetics concept of rasa-dhwani-ouchitya. He started a new experiment in Yakshagana called ekavyakthi Yakshagana (solo show) that focussed especially on female roles.   He was born at Parampalli near Saaligrama in Udupi district. He entered the scene as a female role artist when female characters were not much in demand. He learned the art form at Yakshagana Study Centre in Udupi during 1975-76. He debuted with Kamalashile troupe lead by Keremane Shambhu Hegade. At the time, Keremane troupe used to stage limited-time shows. Later he continued his career with Perdur and Idugunji troupes and started performing as the lead female role. But then he decided to change track and went to Bangalore to become an entrepreneur. For ten years he ran a successful ice cream business. 'Mantapa' ice cream became very popular.