Here’s a dance you may have not known about. Just like Kathakali represents Kerala, Yakshagana is a dance that represents Karnataka. It is a unique traditional form of theatre that combines dance, drama, dialogue, music, make up and more. Yakshagana tells stories of Mahabharata and Ramayana and the dance typically begins in the twilight hours. The costumes heavy and elaborate, made out of wood and cloth and can weigh up to 17 kilos.
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This art has been present for centuries in Karnataka, but with the modern world taking over – it is said to be a dying art, with very few people taking it up in the first place.
We met Sharvani, a trained Yakshagana dancer – she started learning the art in 2005. Reluctant at first, she realised later that it isn’t too difficult and is a beautiful art that she learnt. She now wants to spread the word about Yakshagana. She wants more young people to take up the dance and continue the tradition of Karnataka. She herself has conducted workshops for kids, just to show them how interesting and fun Yakshagana can be. Here’s what she has to say.