Folk artist Basavalingaiah Hiremath passes away

Basavalingaiah Hiremath and Vishweshvari Hiremath at an event in Dharwad recently. File

Basavalingaiah Hiremath and Vishweshvari Hiremath at an event in Dharwad recently. File

Basavalingaiah Hiremath, senior theatre personality, actor, singer, director and folklore expert, died in Bengaluru on January 9 morning.

The 65-year-old artist was under treatment in a private hospital for some time.

The Karnataka Rajyotsava award winning folk artist was known across the country for his performance of `Sri Krishna Parijata’, the classic Kannada play. The three-hour-long drama about the life of Lord Krishna and his wives Rukmini and Satyabhama was peppered with song -dance and long dialogues. The performance was in Doddata folk theatre style.

The original play was 12 hours long and was written by Kulgod Tammanna, a folk artist who imagined it to be an overnight performance. Hiremath reshaped it to under three hours, to give the viewer the experience of watching a movie. His team presented over 1,000 performances of Sri Krishna Parijata, in India, U.A.E., Europe and U.S.A.

Hiremath hailed from Beluru village near Kittur in Belagavi district. As a young man, he graduated from Neelakantheshwar Natya Sangha (Neenasam) to embrace folk theatre as his profession. He also studied MA folk studies from Karnataka University Dharwad. He acted in TV serials like Mudala Mane. Known for his baritone voice, he adjudged, alongside S.P. Balasubramanyam in the singing competition 'Ede Tumbi Haduvenu’ on ETV Kannada.

Along with his wife Vishweshvari Hiremath, he set up `Janapada Samshodhana Samsthe’ research centre in Dharwad, to involve the youth in the research on various folk art forms. He also trained interested youth in folk singing and theatre.

The Karnataka government had honoured him with a Karnataka Rajyotsava award for his life time achievement in the field of folk theatre.

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Printable version | May 17, 2022 4:34:55 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/folk-artist-basavalingaiah-hiremath-passes-away/article38200651.ece