Reliving Dance of the Demi Gods

By Jyoti Rao, Bangalore
Udupi Today Media Network


Bangalore, 11 October 2014: We are a nation that prides its culture. The heart of Karnataka too lies in its art and literature. In it Yakshagana holds a resounding presence. The dance of the demi gods, Yakshagana exhibits a fascination that captures the heart of the both the performer and the spectator.



The beauty of this art form lies in its vibrancy, be it the costumes the makeup or the music the theatrics of this form are completely a league apart. Recreating the allure of ancient histories and myth in musical dance drama Yakshagana summons the glories of rich cultural heritage from the past. But this art is much more than a rich cultural art form. It is a tradition that needs to be passed down to the younger generation.


Jain Heritage School in Hebbal exposes students to this enriching ethnic experience. The school offers exclusive performing arts classes in art forms such as Yakshagana twice every week to engage students in this intrinsic art form since a very early age. In today’s fast paced times the constant attempt in most of the schools is to offer students a global experience, in this effort sometimes the authentic Indian values tend to get sidelined. At JHS the very effort is to reinforce the traditional value system through special curriculums. The Yakshagana classes is one such initiative that introduces students to the world of performing arts while binding them closer to their heritage.


These classes are mandatory for the grade 1 and 2 students. The school curriculum ensures that the students associate themselves with atleast one of the art forms the school offers. Mrs Archana Vishwanath, Principal JHS feels that these special classes have quite a profound impact on the attitude of the students. “A considerable difference can be observed in their body language, they tend to become more disciplined and graceful in their behavior. Through this classes they subsequently learn to coordinate with their peers learning the essence of team work” she said.


The exclusive classes are conducted by professional artists who are well versed in their respective fields and develops in students a lifelong love for arts. Yakshagana is said to have a considerable effect on the gross motor skills of children. While learning the nuances of the art children tend to acquire a proficiency in hand eye coordination. The bright make up and fascinating attire makes it easier for children to associate themselves with the art. Reputed Yakshagana artists and Guru Radhakrishna Urala Kota conducts these performing arts classes at the school at present.


He is the founder of Kala Kadamba Art Centre that primarily focuses on spreading awareness on folk art and theatre. He brings with him an immense experience of stage performances both national and international. The school is working towards introducing students to many other authentic art forms of India that recite the richness of our culture in the near future.


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