Yakshagana Dance-Drama of Mangalore

Yakshagana dance-drama of Mangalore is one of the famous and ancient folk dances of South India. This folk art originated somewhere in between the 10th and 16th century as its reference is found in Bheemakhanda, one of the famous writings of the great author of the 15th century Srinadha.

Yakshagana dance-drama during its early days was known as Bahunatakas but was later on rechristened to its present name after getting inspired from the Yakshas or Jakkulas who used to be great singers and dancers.

In the ancient days, Mangalore Yakshagana dance-drama was a ballad singing art form which was later on given the shape of a dance drama. In the beginning, Yakshagana was performed by only a single dancer. It was during the 17th and 18th century, that it regained its current form of a dance drama where various characters were introduced.

One of the most remarkable features of Yakshagana dance-drama is that every time when the dance is performed, it is performed with a different subject. Till date it has covered almost every theme from historical, secular to mythological.

One of the most noted achievement of Yakshagana dance-drama of Mangalore is the fact that the classical Kuchipudi dance of South India have taken up many of the literary productions of Yakshagana in its repertory.

Mangalore Yakshagana dance-drama is worth watching for one would not get to witness the same blend of music, dance and drama anywhere else. Moreover, this folk dance form of Mangalore is not just a medium of entertainment rather it also offers a brief insight into the life style and culture of the people there.

Last Updated on 21 September 2011