Mangaluru, Jan 01, 2018: A 10-member team from the Bondala Jagannatha Shetty Memorial Government Secondary School, Shamboor in Bantwal, near Mangaluru, Yakshagana is a focus and not a mere art form but a symbol of the State’s culture and heritage.
It’s on this theme that these students from Classes 9 and 10 will present a 30-minute-long Yakshagana — Kishkinda Koutuka — at the three-day National-level Kala Utsav to be held in Bhopal from January 3. The central theme for the utsav is “Ek Bharat Shrest Bharat”.
Kamalaksha Kalladka, the head master of the school, said it’s through this Yakshagana that these students present the rich traditional art from which is popular in coastal Karnataka. This team staged this Yakshanga at the district and State-level Kala Utsav held early this year.
The Rastriya Madhamik Shikshana Abhiyan has been holding Kala Utsav at the taluk, district, State and National-levels since 2015-16. The school’s team is participating in the national-level Kala Utsav for the second time. It had staged a play onLavani featured in the Class 10 Kannada text book in the maiden national-level Kalotsva.
The Yakshagana is based on the story of brothers Vaali and Sugreeva from the epic Ramayana. Following a battle between Vaali and Mayavi (a mystic person), Sugreeva thinks his brother has died and he occupies the throne. Vaali comes back from the battle and dethrones his younger brother Sugreeva. Vaali also takes latter’s wife in his custody. Sugreeva gets the help of Lord Rama, who kills Vaali and helps the latter (Vaali) attain Moksha.
While Class 10 student Bharath plays the role of Vaali, his classmate Navith plays the role of Sugreeeva. Class 10 students Lakhita, Kavyashree and Nayana play the roles of Rama, Lakshmana and Anjaneya respectively.
Class 9 students Priyanaka and Pavana play the roles of Sutradhara and Thare respectively.
The unique feature of this Yakshagana is the role of Class 10 student Chandrika, a visually-impaired student. “She has excelled in this role and has received appreciation during the performance at the district and State-level Kalotsava,” says Mr. Kalladka and adds that it is also an indication of inclusive education system followed in the school.
Class 9 student Jayagovinda plays Chande (the percussion instrument), while his classmate Dhanush is the Bhagavata (the singer). This play is directed by the school’s Physical Education teacher Chinnappa K. Jalsoor, who has trained the students in acting and make-up. Mr. Kalladka has helped students in designing the costumes. Senior Yakshagana artiste Subraya Holla has actively involved in fine tuning the presentation of students.