Yakshagana mesmerises people Down Under

Artistes from Yakshadeva Mitra Kala Mandali, Beluvai, presenting a Yakshagana show at Perth in Australia.

Artistes from Yakshadeva Mitra Kala Mandali, Beluvai, presenting a Yakshagana show at Perth in Australia.  

Tenku Thittu team returns after 22-day tour

Returning from a 22-day tour of Australia after presenting a series of Yakshagana shows recently, artiste Shrutakeerthiraja said: “Some children who came to send us off at the Perth airport with their parents became emotional and tears rolled down from their eyes. They were so attached. The art had mesmerised them.”

“The challenge was to present the shows to class audience and not mass audience,” said M. Devananda Bhat who led a six-member team of his Yakshadeva Mitra Kala Mandali, Beluvai, near Moodbidri, to the Kangaroo country.

According to Mr. Bhat, who is also the founder the mandali, Tenku Thittu (southern style) school of Yakshagana shows were staged in Australia for the first time. The team, which left Mangaluru on October 14 for presenting shows in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth, returned here on November 5. In all, the team members presented 12 shows.

The team members had condensed the texts of “Sudhanwarjuna” and “Narakasura Moksha” episodes just enough for performing for two hours each without compromising on its total presentation, Mr. Bhat said.

The team — the other members being Ravichandra Kannadikatte, Chaitanyakrishna Padyana, Akshaya Kumar Marnad and Lakshmana Kumara Marakada — also conducted a workshop on Yakshagana facial make-up for children during the tour.

“Impressed with the dance, costumes and facial make-up, a professor of social science, Mubarak, asked us in Perth to teach him the art,” said Shrutakeerthiraja, who holds a doctorate degree in Botony and who left regular teaching sometime ago to become a professional Yakshagana artiste.

“They, including people of Indian origin and others, watched the shows seriously without any noise during the presentation,” he said.

Mr. Bhat said that the response to the shows were encouraging. The mandali is now planning to take a team to Europe next year.

The shows were held under the auspices of Melbourne Kannada Sangha, Namma Karavali Group, Perth, and Puttige Mutt, Sydney, and Indian Society of Western Australia. Australian Minister for Tourism and Culture Paul Papalia witnessed the show, Mr. Bhat said.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 1:08:20 PM |

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