Yakshagana Traditional Dance & Theatre, Karnataka

Yakshagana is a traditional Indian theatre form originating in Karnataka, a state in India. It is a unique theatre form present in India where the pre-classical music and theatre form is introduced to people who are watching their performance. The dance, music, dialogue, make-up and costume, and the stage all are present according to the pre-historic settings as the Yakshagana theatre form showcases the stories from the Hindu scriptures like Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavad-Gita and more. Other scriptures from Jain religion and other religions in India are also present in the form of theatre.

Yakshagana is also known as 'Aata' in Tulu language, which means 'The Play' in English. This type of traditional theatre form was first introduced in the Udupi, Uttara Kannada, Dakshina Kannada districts in Karnataka, also in the Kasaragod district in the state of Kerala. Although the year of origin for this form of traditional theatre is not known, in the 19th century, many practitioners introduced new compositions and stories and became less strict towards the traditional form.

Before the 19th century the practitioners were supposed to use the pre-composed stories music and dialogues but as the time went by troupes were formed and new music, instruments and costumed were designed to attract people. The practitioners started selling tickets to view the Yakshagana theatre performance. With the change in the traditional theatre form, more people started to explore the world of Yakshagana and became mesmerized by the traditional art form. Tourists are visiting the various troupes across the world that are performing and spreading the awareness of Yakshagana traditional theatre.

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