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A night-long theatrical treat

 MPost |  2015-07-01 23:52:58.0  |  New Delhi

A night-long theatrical treat

For the first time ever, Delhi will witness Yakshagana performance, a theatre form that combines dance, music, dialogue, costume, makeup and stage techniques with a unique style and form, which is popular in coastal Karnataka. The night-long performance will be held on July 11 at  Delhi Karnataka Sangha auditorium. 

The show is organised by Delhi-based South Kanara Club in association with some local organisations. Yakshagana has been traditionally performed from dusk to dawn, but recently, it was reduced to a <g data-gr-id="42">three hour</g> performance. However, a few troupes supported by temples are still performing full-night Yakshagana.

The performance will feature Devi <g data-gr-id="39">Mahatme</g>, or the “Magnanimity of the Goddess”, which describes the victory of Goddess Durga over various demons, including Chanda, Munda, Mahishasura, Raktabija, Shumbha and Nishumbha.

Devi <g data-gr-id="38">Mahatme</g> is one of the most popular Yakshaganas over the years. According to a study, more than 1,00,000 performances have been carried out and 16,000 performances have already been booked in advance for the next ten years.

This is a story of an Indian theatre form which is not only vibrant, but also influential in the religious and social life of coastal Karnataka. Devi <g data-gr-id="44">Mahatme</g> is believed to be an attempt to unify the Vedic male pantheon with the pre-existing mother goddess cult possibly dating to the 9th Century B.C. and an attempt to define divinity as a female principle.

The Yakshagana text synthesises a number of <g data-gr-id="57">pre-existing</g> mother goddess, namely Chamundi, Kali, Durga and Sapta Matrikas myths into a single narrative, which has been crystallised and beautifully presented by the artistes. Various colours, headgears, costumes and dancing styles make the 
episode unique.

Over forty actors will be taking the stage to portray the different roles in Devi <g data-gr-id="33">Mahatme</g>. 

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