KANHANGAD: What if even the costumes they wore were rented from Kasaragod. They all aces Yakshagana -- a theatre form performed in Kannada and mostly confined to north of Kasaragod and some parts of Karnataka. Except for Pathanamthitta and Malappuram, all the 12 districts send their teams for the Yakshagana. And all the teams got an A grade. “We slayed it,” says an elated Liyana Fathima, a class 10 student of MGM Higher Secondary School, Mananthavady.
Yakshagana competition combines dance, music, and dialogues in Kannada for a half an hour show.
Every year, the school sends a Yakshagana team to the state school festival. “Often like this year, we were the only team at the sub-district and district competitions. But our children work hard on the diction and dance,” said Jisha Santosh, a computer science teacher and manager of all-girls Yakshagana team. MGM school, like all the schools in the district, roped in trainers and makeup artists. It is sheer hard work, said Iby Maria Francis, Class 10 student and captain of the team.
“We write Kannada words in Malayalam and English and learn them by heart,” said Parvathy V, a Class IX student of Samajam Higher Secondary School, Muthukulam in Alappuzha. For the past one month, the team did not go to school and was rigorously practising, said Sathyapriya V, a class VIII student and youngest member of the team. “After the Kalolsavam, we want to perform Yakshagana at our temple at Muthukulam,” said Vinu Gopakumar.
The school has been making it to the state festival since 2013. “Those days we were the only team from Alappuzha. Now there are many, and all of us are trained by experts from Kasaragod,” said Suresh Mannarasala, principal of the school. Over the years, he was so smitten by Yakshagana that he went on to write a book in Malayalam on the art form. “Now I will translate the songs and dialogues to Malayalam and take it to the people of Alappuzha,” he said.
Oppana performances draw crowds to main venue
Kanhangad: On the second day of the Kalolsavam, the main venue, Mahakavi P Kunhiraman Nair (Aingoth ground), drew crowds for the oppana performance which began in the afternoon. The venue, which can seat 6,000 people, was packed, forcing many people to gather around the stage to watch the scintillating performances, which continued late into the night. Given the flow of spectators, a cloud of dust enveloped the venue, forcing many to wear masks. The large crowds also created traffic snarls on the NH nearby. “Oppana is an event that I look forward to at Kalolsavams,” said Khadeeja B, who stood near the stage with her son. Vendors made good business selling light snacks to the audience.
Parents removing costumes of their wards after Yakshaganam performance
MP’s gift for the differently-abled
Christmas came early for two children with disabilities. Sajina P K of Kamballur school and Devadathan of Udinoor school asked for electric wheelchairs from Kasaragod MP Rajmohan Unnithan at the GHSS, Bela East. He immediately asked his staff to make arrangements to buy two electric wheelchairs from the MP fund.
Manu K, a civil police officer of Chitarikkal police station, won the ‘Is that You?’ photo contest held by The New Indian Express at the main venue of the festival. TNIE had put up a photo of Manu serving water to audience at the venue.