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Real Life Couples Play Duet In A Yakshagana Performance

Yakshagana is the major art form of our coastal city. With the changing trends this art form has evolved to adapt. Many novice artists thrive to win hearts without breaking the authenticity of this pure art form of yakshagana. One such instance was found in the play CHITHRA -PHALGUNA, written by Prasad Kumar Mogebettu, wherein the role of lead hero and heroine was played by a real life couple. This has captivated hearts of audience who were awed to see artistes Shashank Patel and Shriti Kashi, who are married couples, to play the role of sweet, romantic leads in a Yakshkatha Roopaka-’Chithra Phalguna’.

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This bayalata revolves around two mythological characters Chitrangada and Arjuna, involving their meeting to marriage tales, backed by tunes and songs  written by Prasad Kumar Mogebettu. The yakshagana loving audience were not only enthralled with the unusual sight of the real couples playing similar roles; But the skilled expressions, flow of emotions, the situations created on stage, graceful movements of the couple were an actual delight to the spectators. This play spoke more through dance of emotions than words and dialogues.

In crisp ‘Chithra-Phalguna’ is a tale of romance with vivid descriptions of the Manipura forest,wandering Arjuna, meeting with Chitrandgada,shooting arrows of love,Arjuna off to Nagaloka,loving each other in dreams and the grandeur of their Gandharva marriage; All this illustrated beautifully in the play.

Dance music of this bayalata is unlike the rest. Situation suited tunes in harmony with the acting and dancing were the major attractions. This showed ‘Chithra-Phalguna’ as a combination of both Yakshagana or yakshagana roopaka and kept the audience entertained till their heart’s content for two hours.

Bhagavathike by Prasad Kumar Mogebettu gave a hyped start with a mix of traditional and new music,supported by the maddale and chende played by Raghavendra Hegde Yellapura and Srinivasa Prabhu respectively, ultimately leading this play to its best performances. This play has been a boost to  new and novel ideas among traditional artists.

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