In which of the states of India, Yakshagana, a dance drama is popular?

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Mishra Ji asked 29-May-2019 in General Knowledge by Mishra Ji

In which of the states of India, Yakshagana, a dance drama is popular?

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UTKARSHA SINGHROUL answered 15-Jul-2019 by UTKARSHA SINGHROUL

‘Yakshagana’ is a theatrical form of presenting Mythological and historical stories, and is majorly popular in “Karnataka”. A ‘Yakshagana’ dance drama performance includes the combination of music, colorful costumes, vigorous and energetic dance movements, subtle expressions and extempore dialogues.

In which of the states of India, Yakshagana, a dance drama is popular?

Yakshagana has two main variations, Moodalapaya, the eastern dance form which is popular in Northern Karnataka and Paduvalapaya, the western style also known as the coastal Yakshagana. The coastal Yakshagana is usually popular for its great sophistication what it has achieved over the years by the efforts of contributing artists, thinkers and researchers who explore the variety in it. It is a more exuberant and refined dance form when compared to all the other styles.

The performance in Yakshagana is usually depicted through a story from the epics like Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Puranas of Indian Mythology. Usually, in predominantly rural areas which have a little or no transportation, in that areas, Yakshagana has been enjoyed a lot and gained immense popularity and its performers are honored just like the great stage artists are respected and honored.

The word Yakshgana means the songs of the Demi-Gods, ‘yaksha‘ meaning for the ‘Demi-God’, and ‘gana’ meaning ‘song and music’. Whereas, the stage design during the performance and unique rendering used to quite similar to that of the Western Opera. The theatrical performance also includes the background music played by the group of musicians usually termed as “Himmela”. The men portray the character of both males and females. Along with the elaborate headgears decorated specifically for Kings and for the demons in a different manner.

It is believed that the performances started during the Vaishnav Bhakti movement in the 11th century. Whereas, in the 13th century, a Sage named Narahari Thirtha started Dashavathara performance in Udupi, which later developed into the Yakshagana of today.