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A new mela to revive Tulu Yakshagana

Special Correspondent
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After Tulu Yakshagana melas (troupes) disappeared from annual “tirugata” (tour) in the last two touring seasons (November-May) for various reasons, a new mela is all set to revive Tulu Yakshagana in the season commencing next month.

The full-fledged new mela under the banner of Durgaparameshwari Yakshagana Mandali, Bachakere near Sarapady in Bantwal Taluk will begin its tour from November 22. The mela will be led by Sarapady Ashok Shetty, a Yakshagana artiste.

After Mangaladevi mela folded up and stopped “tirugata” a couple of years ago after a 14-year spell, there has been no Tulu Yakshagana mela. The Mangaladevi mela was the last commercial tent mela to stop performance in Tulu.

The mela shut down due to lack of manpower.

Mr. Shetty’s 30-member mela will stage short duration shows. He said that in addition to stories from “puranas” (mythology) his team will try out new texts. “We will also stage Koti-Chennaya, Kanta Baare Buda Bare, Devapoonja Pratapa which were once hits,” he said.

Mr. Shetty’s mela is a ‘bayalata’ mela which performs without erecting tent. “Given the shortage of labourers it is highly impossible to lead any tent mela now,” he said.

Mr. Shetty said that his team will perform overnight shows only if there is demand.

After the Mangaladevi mela was folded up, its artistes who were performing in tenku thittu style were rehabilitated in Hiriyadka mela which already had artistes performing in badagu thittu style. Shows were presented separately as per the requirement. It was the only mela presenting Yakshagana in both styles.

Tenku thittu artistes in Hiriyadkka mela performed Tulu Yakshagana only on demand.

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