Yakshagana artist with Kirita depicts King'Yakshagana (Kannada:ಯಕ್ಷಗಾನ, pronounced as yaksha-gaana) is a classical dance drama popular in the state of Karnataka in India mostly popular in the districts of Uttara Kannada, Shimoga, Udupi, Dakshina Kannada and Kasaragod district of Kerala. This theater art involves Music, Songs, Dance, Acting, Dialogue, story and unique costumes. While, songs and dance adhere to well established talas very similar to classical Indian dance forms, acting and dialogues are created spntanously on stage depending on ability of artists. This combination of classical and folk elements makes Yakshagana unique from any other Indian art. This would be considered to be a form of opera in western eyes.
Traditionally, Yakshaganas use to start late in the night and run entire night. Bhagavata, the background singer is also the directory of the story and controls the entire proceedings on stage. Bagavatha along with background musicians who play Chande and Maddale forms himmela. The actors who ware colorful costumes and enact various roles in the story forms Mummela.
Yakshagana is sometimes simply called as Aataā in both Kannada and Tulu (meaning play). Yaksha-gana literally means the song (gana) of a Yaksha. Yakshas were an exotic tribe mentioned in the Sanskrit literature of ancient India.
There are many professional troops in Karnataka. In spite of competition from modern movie industry and TV, these troops are arranging ticketed shows and making profit. Apart from this individuals arrange shows in their village inviting well known professional artists like Sri Chittani Ramachandra Hegde and Kondadakuli Ramachandra Hegde, providing an opportunity for local talents to act with legends.
Dollu Kunitha: The Dollu Kunitha is a popular drum dance of Karnataka. The vigorous drum dance performed by the men of the shepherd community known as ' Kurba'. Powerful drumming, acrobatic movements and attractive formations are the notable highlights of the dance. The men have large drums, decorated with colored cloth, slung from their necks, and they beat the drums as they dance with nimble movements of the feet and legs. The dance is at times accompanied by songs, which are either religious or in praise of war.