Bhagawatha Mela Festival at Melattur
Charithamu" with S.Natarajan as Leelavati and S.Kumar as
Bhagawatha Mela is a tradional dance drama of Tanjavur Dristrict
in Tamilnadu. This art is a sister or a cousin of yakshagana, we
can say. It is Telugu art form surviving in Tamilnadu originally
probably a branch of what we call as 'Kuchipudi', it went to Tamilnadu in
about 1600 A D. Now it is surviving in Melattur, Salaimangalam,
Itthukadu etc. It is perfomed only during Narasimha Jayanti. It
is now highly classicalised in its dance. It has limited spoken
words. It is an interesting form.
Melattur Sri Laxmi Narasimha Jayanti Bhagawatha Mela Natya Nataka
Sangham arranged the 60th annual festival this year from 28th of May to 2nd of June at Sri
Varadarajaswami Temple. The festival included besides Bhagawatha Mela
shows, Harikatha, Kuchipudi, Gramiya Ramayanam and Sankirthanam.
Kalaimamani Sri S Natarajan, the troupe leader and the leading actor has
appealed for support to preserve the great traditional art in Melattur.
Another troupe, Bhagawatha Mela Natya Vidya Sangam led by Sri
Bharatham R Mahalingam also perfoms the Bhagawatha Mela dance drama in
Watching Bhagawatha Mela is a rich art experience.
Kinnir is no more
Senior Percussionist, Kinnir Narayana Hegde died recently at Kinnir,
Malkod near Honnavar of U K District. He was seventy. Known
for his outstanding command over the Maddale, Kinnir was a master of drum
melody, clean and clear finger beats, adherence to traditional method
and excellent follow-work on the stage, Kinnir was a team man. He
was the associate of senior artists like Keremane Shivarama Hegde, Yaji
Bhagavath and Nebbur Bhagawath.
Rai Passes Away
Young yakshagana actor, social activist and school
teacher, Jalandhar Rai (42) died at Mangalore, recently. This was,
a tragic end to a multifaceted career of great social value. Sri
Rai hails from Serthaje of Nidpalli, Puttur. He was a science
teacher at Anandashram High School Kotekar. Rai was an amateur
yakshagana artist and art organiser. His roles like Hiranyaksha,
Devendra, Rakthabhija, Madhu Kaitabha, Chandamunda, Sri Rama, Koti,
Chennaya and many more had brought him laurels. Sri Rai was a
Kabaddi player, a social worker, teachers organisation leader and environmentalist.
Deraje Samskritiranga, Chokkady
A cultural forum by the above name has been started
at Chokkady Sri Rama Temple, Chokkady, Sullia Taluk of D.K. It aims at
perpetuating the memory of artist and writer Sri Deraje Seetharamayya
(1914 - 1984). Also called Chokkady Seetharamayya, he is considered to
be one of the all time greats of Talamaddale form of art. Born at
Aivarnadu, he made Chokkady, the centre of his activities. He
founded the Chokkady Sri Rama temple. The Samskritaranga is run by
a Trust. It aims to organise various activities like seminars on
Deraje's works, on Talamaddale, honouring of artistes, running a
yakshagana library, publication etc. besides weekly and special
Talamaddale performances. The forum will provide a befitting
memorial to the great artist, writer and humanist Sri Deraje.
'Yakshaprabandhagalu' - a collection of critical writings on
yakshagana by Prof. Udyavara Madhavacharya has been released
recently. Prof Acharya is a critic, short writer and a stage
director. The present book six articles dealing with various
aspects of yakshagana. The book is published by Vyasa Prakashana
Udupi, and is priced Rs. 30/-. The articles give interesting
observations and insights into the theoretical and practical aspects of
Kalaranga Udupi, a leading performance group and art
welfare organisation, organised another week long festival from the 23rd
to 30th of May as a part of their Silver Jubilee year series of
programmes. The festival included performances by seven leading groups,
including two professional troupes. It also included one
demonstration by Sridar Uppur, Balipa Narayana Bhagavata, T Jayant Kumar
and others, and artists' get-together, and review seminar. The
seminar was led by leading experts H Subbanna Bhat, Prof. M L Samaga,
Sadananda Aithal and others.
This unique series of programmes was blessed and
supported by Sri
Sri Vishweshsha Thirtha Swamiji of Paryaya Pejawar Mutt and sponsored
by a group of art loving business people. The festival was well
attended and was a grand success, said the Kalaranga President Sri
Jagajivandas Shetty and the secretary Sri Murali Kadekar.
Talamaddale at Rangamane Mysore
Prof. Late Sindhuvalli Anantamurthy was a unique theatre
person. He was a teacher in dramatics, a director, an activitist
and an organiser besides being a very good friend and
'Suruchi Rangamane' is the home theatre in which he used
to organise theatre related programs. Suruchi is a model for
A talamaddale 'Jarasandha Vadhe' was presented at
Suruchi, Saraswatipuram, Mysore on 9th May 2000 on the occasion of the
commemoration day of Sri Ananthamurthy. It was presented by Dr M
Prabhakar Joshy and party. Leading literary persons and
intellectuals attended. Ms. Vijaya Sindhuvalli and associates
hosted the program.
Troupes Conclude Tirugata
Different Yakshagana troupes concluded the tour itinerary between
10th and 24th of May. Traditionally the 10th day of 'Vrishabha' month
(24th of May) is the day for the troupes to 'go in' i.e. to wind up for
the year. Now many troupes fix their own last day of the
Tirugata, while some follow the old pattern. On the last day, the
'Seva' (free service to deity) performance is given at the concerned
temple as an offering to the deity. The accounts of the artists
and of the troupe are closed and settled on that day. The boxes
(apparatus) are kept in ('pettige olage iduvudu'). Artists
bid farewell, wishing to meet next year in the same troupe, go home after
tiring tour. The last day of the tour has an emotional
touch. There are about 30 professional troupes of yakshagana. All
these troupes start planning for the next season right now.
Seven Jewels Honoured
Seven leading personalities were honoured as "Tulunada
at Manya of Kasaragod, on the occasion of Silver Jubilee of the Bayalata
Seva by Nityananda Grinthalaya. The seven honoured persons were
Sri T Satish U Pai, Managing Editor, Udayavani, artistes Sri Sheni
Gopalakrishna Bhat, Sri Perla Krishna Bhat, Sri K N Tailor, Sri Kumble Sundar Rao,
Senior political leader Sri M Ramanna Rai and actor Sri Chinna Kasaragod.
Yakshagana Camp for Children
A week long residential camp was organised for primary school and
high school children, at Sullya from 21st to the 28th of May. The
camp was organised at the Sneha School Complex, Parivarkana Sullya.
It was organised by the Tenkutittu Yakshagana Hitarakshana Vedike and
Makkala Sahitya Sangama with cooperation from RRC Udupi and other
sponsors. The camp schedule included simple theory and practicals,
dance, costume, study of epic stories. slide show, video
show, games, songs, discussions and yoga etc.
The camp was coordinated by Sri Chandrashekara Damle, Prof Srikrishna
Bhat and Dr Prabhakara Shishila. Many senior experts and artists
visited the camp.
Convention At Bettampady
Bettampady is a place about 16 kms away from Puttur. It is known for
its rich heritage and interest in yakshagana. The local temple of Sri
Mahalingeshwara has an interesting convention. The major festival
of the temple is on Karthika Poornima, as in the case with many other
temples. But the last annual festival is on Pattanaje day, i.e.
24th of May, and it is locally called that the deity 'goes inside'
though it is only symbolic. This usage coincides with the system
of yakshagana troupe's convention. They 'go inside' (conclude the
tour) on the 24th of May, that is the 10th day of Vrishibha month of
solar calendar. So, may be Bettampady temple had a yakshagana
troupe for a long time. The present ritual usage may be a remain
of the same.
[Readers are requested to write to us on similar phenomena in other
Sri Mahalingeshwara Yakshagana Sangha
Anniversary and Talamaddale
The anniversary of Bettampady Sri Mahalingeshwara Yakshagana Sangha
was celebrated on the 24th of May. Senior artists Bevinje Venkappa
Rai Bhagawatha and Adur Sundara Rao Maddalegar were honoured.
There was a Talamaddale by well know artistes.