Mangaluru, April 18, 2018: Four-year-old Arnav Prabhu is making Yakshagana appearances for some time now, and this tiny enthusiast is creating huge waves.
Though he’s still unfamiliar with the alphabets, he’s fast emerging as a Yakshagana prodigy, playing the roles of a priest or of Agni Devata and delivering the dialogue impressively with a strange command. His mother Shreelatha says he’s first in the family to take up Yakshagana. The boy developed a keen interest in the art form as his grandparents used to take him to Yakshagana performances regularly.
Shreelatha said: "He seems to be averse to Bollywood and Western art forms. I enrolled him for Bollywood and drum classes, but he chose to quit both of them. And he loves the art and culture of Tulunadu - Yakshagana and Pilivesha (tiger dance), among others. He has been attending Yakshagana classes for 10 months."
Ravi Alevooraya, his tutor, heaped praise on Arnav, one of Navabharata Yakshagana Academy’s favourite students. His Yakshagana debut was through a play that stretched for at least 12 hours. "He never skips classes. In addition to theatre, he is learning Chande Vaadana, besides evincing interest in Nashik band. Such interest is very uncommon among present-day kids," Ravi said.
During Navaratri last year, Arnav had become the cynosure of all eyes in the popular Barke tableau, where he danced as pili the entire night.