Watch a traditional Yakshagana recital from Karnataka in Mumbai
Witness the glory of traditional folk theatre from southern Karnataka at a Yakshagana recital
Nearly 15 years after her first visit to Udupi, when ethnomusicologist Dr Shubha Chaudhuri revisited the small coastal city in southwest Karnataka last month, the experience was a welcome surprise. While the city had undergone tremendous change, what remained unchallenged was its ancient folk theatre - Yakshagana. Patronised by temples in Karantaka, the origin of this ritual theatre can be traced to the period between the 11th to 15th centuries. "A lot of people had told me that Yakshagana was dying, but this change is more talked about than real," she says.
Chaudhuri is bringing this art form closer home as part of the NCPA's ongoing series Living Traditions. Traditionally, Yakshagana was performed in the open air through the night by all-male troupes, with the performers wearing elaborate headgear, facial make-up, colourful costumes and ornaments. Today, there are shorter versions that last up to three hours. "In the last 20 years, all-women groups have also started performing," says Chaudhuri, who is the curator of the show. "The themes of the plays are from the epics: Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Bhagavats."
During the two-day recital, Chaudhuri will introduce the audience to the two traditions within this genre - Tenkutittu and Badagutittu. While music is dominant in Tenkutittu and the influence of Carnatic music is apparent, Badagutittu places more emphasis on facial expressions. Also, here, the music is influenced by the Hindustani music.
When: March 17 and 18, 6.30 PM
Where: Experimental Theatre: NCPA, NCPA Marg, Nariman Point
Entry: Rs 100
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