Mangaluru, Nov 9, 2015 : K. Chinnappa Gowda, outgoing director, Yakshagana Adhyayana Kendra at the university, said that P. Dayananda Pai and P Satish Pai, who donated Rs. 1 crore to the kendra as endowment, have said that they are ready to give Rs. 1 crore more to the kendra at Mangalore University.
The kendra presented its Yakshamangala annual awards for 2015 to four artistes and its Yakshamangala Book Award to an author at a function at the university on Nov 7. Hosthota Manjunatha Bhagawatha, Margoli Govinda Seregara, Sampaje Sheenappa Rai and Leelavathi Baipadithaya received the Yakshamangala award. Author Mohan Kuntar received the book award for his work “Yakshagana Stithyantara”.
The Yakshamangala Award carried Rs. 25,000 in cash, a certificate and a memento while the Yakshamangala Book Award carried Rs. 10,000 cash, a certificate and a memento.
Speaking on behalf of the awardees, Bhagawatha said that now Yakshagana especially with its costume has attracted people world over. M. Mohan Alva, chairman, Alva’s Education Foundation said that Yakshagana has a proven history of 600 years.
Now there are about 40 “melas” (professional touring troupes) with over 1,500 artistes in them. In addition, there are about 200 troupes of amateurs with about 5,000 artistes. He said that the State government should consider it as an art of the State. Scholar and Yakshagana artiste M. Prabhakara Joshi complemented the awardees. The book by Kuntar with 23 chapters has recorded changes and developments in Yakshagana in the past 25 years.
Bhagawatha has written 250 Yakshagana scripts. His scripts have been staged in Kannada, Hindi and Sanskrit. Seregara is known for donning the female characters of Sri Devi, Meenakshi, Shashiprabhe, Chitrangade, Prameele, Madanakshi, Kantimathi and Draupadi.
Rai is a well-known artiste of Tenku Thittu (southern) school of Yakshagana. He toured in Yakshagana melas like Kundavu, Venur, Iruvail, Soukuru, Kateel, Edneer.
Baipadithaya served as singer in touring troupes of Yakshagana for three decades. As a woman ‘bhagawatha’ in the then male dominated Yakshagana sector she toured in many melas.