Sunday, July 20, 2014

Day 20 - Yakshagana - Girl power!

We'd been to a Yakshagana performance yesterday.  All the performers were children, below 15 years of age.

Yakshagana performances blow my mind.  The tremendous energy of the performers, the costumes, the makeup, the music, the drums, the dialogues, the dance, the facial expressions - the combination is enthralling - and it has to be experienced to be believed.

South Kanara (a coastal district of Karnataka) has long been the hub of Yakshagana, and it is good to see it thriving in the far-off city of Bangalore.  And it is lovely to see children going in for Yakshagana training, ensuring the sustenance of this folk art.

But there was another thing that made me immensely happy. 

Yakshagana was traditionally performed only by male artistes.  Even the female roles were performed by men.  But yesterday, the lead role of Krishna was performed by a 13-year-old girl.  She happens to be the daughter of the director of the academy in which the kids learn Yakshagana, but yet!  To see her on stage, so confident, so uninhibited, so skilled, performing with an abandon that most dancers can only dream of - her performance sent thrills down my spine.

Here are a couple of pics.  Please excuse the picture quality - by camera phone isn't the best.

I hope more girls break more barriers!
An aside: My story "The Awakening" made it to the DNA-Out of Print Short Fiction shortlist.

1 comment:

Manish'sMom said...

I love Yakshagana! Please let me know where these performances are held or where I can find information about where and when they are held!

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