Saturday, February 16, 2013

Yakshagana performance in Sydney

This post continues my blog’s ‘Asian performing arts theme’. I do it in a 'bonsai blog' just because I want to. I love traditional Indian theatre with my absolute favourite being Kathakali. While living in South India I got to see it only once. So, when I found that a similar south Indian dance-drama called Yakshagana will be performed in Sydney, I felt lucky. Yakshagana is less stylised and more folksy than Kathakali, which makes it is easier to understand for an outsider. Apparently, Yakshagana appeared as a distinct art form as early as the 15th century and currently exists in various styles across all south Indian states. This particular show was performed by Yakshagana Kendra theatre from Udupi, Karnataka. The performance consisted of two plays – ‘Jatayu Moksha’ a story from the epic Ramayana and ‘Nala Karkotaka’ a story from the epic Mahabharatha. All performers were of high calibre. The musicians were good. The singer, who in a way narrated the story, had an incredibly powerful voice. The costumes were stunning (see images below). The actor’s movements were precise and graceful, their acting was believable and poignant.  All this combined created an overwhelming feast for my eyes and ears.

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