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“Yakshagana” - Indian Theatric Opera

October 2006
“Yakshagana” - Indian Theatric Opera

Special performance organized by Nrupathunga Kannada Koota

Nrupathunga Kannada Koota arranged "Yakshagana", in glittering theatrical tradition on September 9th 2006, at The Hindu Temple of Atlanta. Sri Idagundgi Mahaganapathi Yakshagana Mandali Keremane, Karnataka performed the play "Gadha Yudha". Smt. Kavitha Hegde and Smt. Mangala Madhusudhan introduced the artists and explained the traditions of Yakshagana.

Yakshagana, a folk art from Karnataka, combines music, spoken word, costumes and dance. Actors don costumes, assume roles and act out their assigned parts, sort of like a modern-day western opera.

Shambu Hegde, actor and choreographer of the show, is acknowledged as the master of the present day Yakshagana. He played the role of Dhuryodhana. The sheer refreshing craftsmanship, abhinaya (facial expression) and the sophistication of the actor amazed the audience. The colorful costumes and elaborate makeup as well as the vigorous dancing, singing and stylish movement stunned the audience.

Seventy year old Sri.Shambu Hegde in the role of Dhuryodhana was amazing with is intricate footwork. The insinuating facial expressions, towards Krishna and Bheema on the 18th day of the Mahabharatha War, depicted the emotions of the Kauravas where no words would have done justice.

Sri Shivanda Hegde, trained under his father Sri Shambu Hedge, in the role of Bheema was extraordinary. Krishna's role was played by a visiting artist from Knoxville, Tennessee, Sri Shreenivasa Bhat. Bhagavathar Sri Nebbur Naryan and Sri. Amrutha Krishna Murthy played on "Chande" and "Maddale." Sri. R. Vishwa, Chetan Hegde, Kumari Sona Rao and Kumari Roshni Kailar played the supporting roles.

A light music concert by Sri. Badri Prasad was fascinating and every one enjoyed the melodious songs of a young singer, composer and choreographer.

The audience enjoyed and rejoiced the 90 minute play with devoted attention. Dr. H. N. Ramaswamy expressed sincere thanks on behalf of all the Kannadigas to the troupe for performing in Atlanta.

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