Yakshagana - Udupi
Yakshagaana is one of the most popular, most important aspect of the South Indian culture. It is a beautiful amalgamation of art, music and drama. Yakshagaana somewhat resembles the Opera of the west. "Yaksha" meaning nature spirits and "Gaana" meaning song; hence the name means the song of Yakshas.
Traditionally, Yakshagana is a depiction of a mythological tale. The whole narration of the act is sung by dedicated singers complete with the music and instruments to highlight the play. Yakshagana was predominantly enacted by males in earlier days. However today, females also take active participation in such plays.
The striking feature of Yakshagana is the dressing of the artists-
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-. Artists are decked in a loud manner, be it the costumes, ornaments or headdress. The costumes vary according to the performance. But nevertheless they are larger than life. The face of the artists are coated and defined with the help of thick paint to make it stand out. Facial expressions are crucial part of the act, and the artists are adept at facial depictions. The costumes, ornaments and headgear are also as bright, colourful and heavy.
Yakshagaana is a different genre of music not affiliated to Karnataka Sangeetha or the Hindustani music. Drums, cymbals and 'maddale', a percussion instrument, are mainly used for a Yakshagaana performance. Traditionally, every act is presented from dusk to dawn.
Witnessing a live Yakshagaana act is thrilling. The intense performance, the raw music and the get up of the artists, all combined is a gripping experience. Be sure to grab an opportunity to watch a live performance when you are touring the South.