The richness of Yakshagana as a dance form impressed the audience in Kochi.

Most of the the spectators were watching Yakshagana for the first time. Yet, they could easily strike a chord with the 500-year-old classical folk art form from Karnataka. ‘Duryodhana Vadha’ was presented by Idagunji Mahaganapathi Yakshagana Mandali from Honnaver, Northern Karnataka at TDM Hall, Ernakulam. The group, which claims a tradition of 80 years, is headed by Sivananda Hegde and has performed all over India and aboard

‘Duryodhana Vadha’, adapted from the Mahabharatha, presents an episode from the war between the Pandavas and the Kauravas. On the 18th day of the war, the Pandavas are searching for Duryodhana.

Finally Duryodhana is spotted hiding near Dwaipayana lake and Bhima kills him in a duel. The performance began with ‘Ganapathi Sthuthi’ by two male artistes dressed up as women. The artistes who enacted the Pandavas impressed the spectators with their amazing footwork.

Sivananda Hegde stood out as Duryodhana, with his body language and facial expressions.

He skilfully used the entire face to portray the various emotions of the character. His voice modulations during dialogue delivery were exemplary.

“We cut short the dialogues of the characters for this show as most of the spectators could not follow it. Yakshagana allows such improvisations. The response from the audience here was excellent and it gave us lot of encouragement,” said Hegde after the performance.

The event was jointly organised by BEAME and Ernakulam Karayogam.