to Yakshagana artists.






Karavali Yakshagana Conference 2000:
A Grand Festival

The two day Yakshagana conference organized by the Karnataka Folklore and Yakshagana Academy, Mangalore University and Canara 200-D.K. District Administration on 20 to 21st March go down in the annuals of the history of this art, as a grand festival and get together. Organized at the new Yakshagana Kalamandir Hall of the University brought together about 500 artists and about 2000 people watched the proceedings. First of its kind, the conference will usher in a new era of awareness and recognition for the art and discussion of various issues concerning Yakshagana.

Invocation by Sri Balipa Bhagawatha and Party

The first day's proceedings started with fifteen senior artistes, lighting lamp to the tune of Chande and Maddale. Dr. B A  Vivek Rai gave a detailed background and outline of the conference. While welcoming the gathering, Sri B Ramanath Rai, the honourable minister,.who also took a leading part in organizing the festival, spoke of the need for increased support for the art and the Government's commitment to the cause of Culture.

Sri  M. Veerappa Moily and Kumble Sundar Rao, spoke on the occasion. The Vice Chancellor Prof. S. Gopal in his presiding address, spoke of the University's interests in fostering Yakshagana and other cultural programmes.

Inauguration: Giving Veelya to H Gopal Rao by Ramanath Rai. Mayor Ramesh Kotian, Kalegowda, Dr. Rai,, Veerappa Moily, K Sunder Rao,, Janardhan, Registrar look on

Concern For Artists

The first seminar session was on the protection of artistes' interests. Prof. Amrut Someshwar, introduced the topic addressing the various problems faced by artistes and the need for long term programmes for artistes' welfare. Dr. K  Ramananda Banari, analysed in detail the various aspects of artistes' interests, the responsibility of the society, of the Govt, of the troupe owners, and the artistes themselves towards the cause. Industrialist and art connoisseur Sri D K Chowta's announcements of starting an Artistes Welfare Fund with a basic contribution of Rs. 50,000, was a very fitting gesture for the occasion.

The second session was on the music of Yakshagana, Sri Sridhar Hande and H Subbanna Bhat, two artists cum reporters, conducted the proceedings. A number of artists from both Tenku and Badagu styles of Yakshagana participated.

Felicitations and performances

More than thirty artists, all recipients of Central and State Academy Awards were felicitated in the evening. Speaking on the occasion Sri H P Prakash, the minister and himself an artist, spoke of the width and depth of this art form, its importance in shaping the culture and a need for a continued effort for the development of art.

Honouring by M P Prakash L-R Kalegowda, Malathi Shamsunder, MP Prakash, Vivek Rai, Chinnappa Gowda, Sakkettu Narayana, Nedle Narasimha Bhat, MM Hegde

The first day featured two performances. The ladies Yakshagana group from Katipalla presented 'Bhasmasura Mohini'. Sri K.M. Raghavan Nambiar's 'Yakshakaumudi' group presented "Dakshayajna" with traditional oil lamp-torch lighting. This performance exposed the audience to a new experience.

Female roles - co-ordination

The second day's proceedings had two seminars.
One was on the female character, costume,
problems of expression and the need for artistic reconstruction of female roles. Critics and artists Prof. M L Samaga and Prof. Udyavara Madhavacharya presented and conducted the session.

Demonstration on female role by Sri Ambaprasad Pathala

Fifty Artists Honoured

Fifty leading artists were honoured by the leading art supporter Sri Padmashri Dharmastala Veerendra Heggade , Sri Kurunji Venkatramana Gowda. The artists were selected from all areas of Coastal Karnataka from Kasargod to Karvar, covering all styles, different branches and aspects including Talamaddale form. The artistes were presented a shawl, citation, fruit plate and a purse of Rs. 3000 each. The honour turned out to be an emotional moment for many artistes.

Leading artiste  Shambhu Hegde spoke in detail on the various problems facing the survival of traditional art. He appealed to all concerned to look beyond commercial considerations, and to strike a balance between commerce and art. Another leading artiste K Govinda Bhat said, if an artiste has a real commitment, he can preserve the tradition and he will be supported by the people.

The next session was an 'Open Discussion Time'.  Dr. Prabhakar Joshy and K Chinnappa Gowda conducted the session. Artistes and participants interacted on various aspects of Yakshagana.

The Valedictory was presided over by the Academy Chairman KaleGowda Nagavar, who spoke of the Academy's new resolve, new approach and its limitations. Prof S N  Hegde, Vice Chancellor, Mysore University, felicitated the artistes and organizers of the conference. Prof. K S Haridas Bhat, Director R R C Udupi, who was the Chief Guest, said that the problems pertaining to Yakshagana have no easy solution. He said that they require deeper analysis and continued attention.

There were two performances on the day. Idagunji
Mahaganapathi Troupe presented 'Bhishma Parva' with Sri Shambhu Hegde in the leading role and Sri Nebbur Bhagawath as the singer.  Assorted professional and amateur artistes of the -- Southern Style presented 'Trijanma Moksha' for the whole night.

'Bhishma Parva' by Idugunji Troupe, Sri Shambhu Hegde as Bhishma

Prof. Vivek Rai, Dr M P Joshy and Bhaskar Rai Kukkuvalli were in overall charge of organization, supervision and hospitality. The conference was well attended and well appreciated for the massive effort in organizing, the hospitality, food, honouring of artists, exhibition etc. There were of course some aspects where things could have been done better. However the event has created new expectations and new hopes.

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