20 November 2008

More on Yakshagana

I have blogged on what I thought about Yakshagana [observations]. There is a need to explain few more things such as its class. That will be done here. Unfortunately, much of the information on Yakshagana is in Kannada or available only offline. Not much information is available in English which the generation X,Y,Z mostly reads and thinks is the only acceptable source (I have had people (epistemologists!) tell me, "Oh! In a Kannada book; that is not reliable!". Those types will need something in English and they are getting it here).

I get totally pissed off looking at the Wikipedia article where Yakshagana is listed as one of the folk dances, along with Bangra and Kolata! Ignorance should have a limit and insulting, a bit shame. How can an art be called folk art if in it the artists have to create a character on the fly through mastery in dance, spontaneous speech and appropriate expressions, all of which, unlike in Bharatha Natya, are not pre-cooked meals? (Calling something folk is not bad or ldisrespectful because anything liked by people can not disregarded. However, when the term "folk" is used it carries an image of less refined not sophesticated or naive art, to which I have objections) . The expressions, music and almost everything in Yakshagana is contemporary and evolving. If classical art must have 15 century way of expressing emotions (unreasonable and way backwards in comparison to contemporary aesthetics) over amplified to an extent that over acting is the lest we can say about it then Yakshagana does not have it.

Much annoying is how musicians want to see in their yellow eyes. Should something be called classical art only if it belongs to or follows Karnataka Sangeetha or Hindustani? Sometimes, to an Yakshagana follower abhinaya in Kathak and Bharathanatya for instance seems inadequate and uninteresting compared to the amount of preparation that goes in to it. Moreover, none of the classical art forms now recognised by academies as so are complete thetrical art forms. They lack at least one form of theatrical performance. Yakshagana on the other hand has dialog, debate , dance, music, naration, very well developed poetry (written in celebrated Kannada metres), plot, costumes, and some features like interacting with audience that some urban elite might call "modern art" and publish papers (read bullshit) about (when done by Yakshagana artists it is nothing more than primitive folk concepts).

I will list here a few things that I think are more refined. ...


  1. hi
    I totally agree with you , but is it possible to write a good article on Yakshagana in wikipedia, I am not that authority on Yakshagana, but I know people have done PhD on that, a complete art with, dance, music and speech, I dont think any other art form in India is as unique and intellectual as Yakshagana

  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakshagana_Poetry

    I have been working on it but there is no support. I have been asking in Havyaka groups and yakshagana group. Not a single guy has tried to update it. Please take a look and work on it.


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