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Puppetry troupe to tour State

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Yakshagana puppeteer Bhaskar Kogga Kamath with his Yakshagana puppet.
Yakshagana puppeteer Bhaskar Kogga Kamath with his Yakshagana puppet.

Staff Correspondent

Udupi: The Sri Ganesha Yakshagana Gombeyata Mandali of Uppinakudru in Udupi district will give a Yakshagana puppetry show each in 26 districts of the State from February 28 to March 24.

Addressing presspersons here, the co-coordinator of the publicity committee of the troupe, Marvanthe Prakash Padiyar, said that the aim of the tour was to generate interest among the youth in Yakshagana puppetry.

A lecture-demonstration about the folk art would be given during the tour.

The tour would start from Uttara Kannada district and culminate in Shimoga.

There are 14 members in the troupe, which has a history of 350 years. The Devanna Padmanabha Kamath Memorial Yakshagana Gombeyata Trust, which runs the troupe, had plans to establish a “Gombe (Puppetry) Academy” and a Ranga Mandira.

The Yakshagana puppetry shows of this mandali follow the rules of the traditional Yakshagana Bayalata. The puppeteers here have to make the puppets dance and move like the various characters of Yakshagana.

These puppets are also dressed in the traditional gorgeous and rich costumes as done in Yakshagana. The puppets are made out of wood and are 18 inches high.

The “prasangas” or episodes of Yakshagana puppetry are drawn from epics such as the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Bhagavata Purana. This art form has managed to survive the onslaught of times — a testimony to its power to attract the audience and keep them interested.

Bhaskar Kogga Kamath is convener of the troupe and the president of the trust.

The troupe under Mr. Kamath has performed in different parts of the country and abroad. Mr. Kamath has also made the puppets do yoga in a trial performance of “Yoga by puppets.”

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