Yakshagana melas begin winding up season’s shows

11:50 AM, Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018
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yakshaganaMangaluru: With the political drama in the State coming to an end, Yakshagana melas (touring troupes), whose performances also came under the scrutiny of Election Commission officials in this election, began winding up their season’s shows in the coastal belt from Saturday.

The performances of all melas will end on the traditional ‘Pattanaje Day’ on May 24 ahead of rainy season.

Since the model code of conduct came into force from March 27 to May 18, the peak season of Yakshagana performances, some officials of the Commission started the scrutiny of performances for violation of model code of conduct.

It was a suffocating atmosphere for the artistes and organisers after a Returning Officer in Dakshina Kannada issued a show-cause notice to Durgaparameshwari Prasadita Yakshagana Mandali of Kateel.

Some officials in Udupi and Uttara Kannada reportedly warned the organisers not to use the loudspeakers after 10 p.m. during the shows.

The Returning Officer of Moodbidri Assembly Constituency, V. Prasanna, issued the notice to the Kateel mela on April 2 for its artiste Poornesh Acharya using “politically motivated words” in a performance at Bannadka in Padumarnadu village, near Moodbidri, on April 1. The notice said hence he should not be allowed to perform in any future performances.

But the officer withdrew the notice on April 4 after realising that the artiste in question had not performed in the mela at the said place on that day. Yakshagana artiste and former chairman of Karnataka Yakshagana and Bayalata Academy Kumble Sundar Rao recalled that artistic expressions had never come under scrutiny during the elections in the past. “Even during the Emergency the freedom of Yakshagana artistes had not been curtailed,” he said.

The Guruprasadita Yakshagana Mandali of Saligrama completed its golden jubilee during the current season’s tour. A mela, which gave shelter to a number of well known artistes, including star “Bhagawatha” (singer director) the late G.R. Kalinga Navada, and late Shiriyara Manju Naika, is a team of 75 persons, including about 35 artistes. The season also witnessed the addition of three more melas for tent performance. The coastal belt has more than 40 melas.

                                   

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