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`Create atmosphere to develop rural theatre'

By Our Staff Correspondent

CHITRADURGA, JAN. 2. Mudenoor Sanganna, noted exponent on folklore, has urged people to create an environment for the development of rural theatre instead of waiting for the implementation of government schemes.

Inaugurating a workshop on the possibilities of revival of rural theatre at Sanehalli, around 100 km from here on Friday, Mr. Sanganna expressed his disappointment over the decline of theatre in rural areas. Theatre was used as a medium to spread the teachings of Buddha and the Sharanas.

However, in these times of transition, the rural masses are moving away from theatre, he said.

Facing threat

Theatre is the only art form that effectively uses light and shade. "Togalu Gombe Aata" (a play using leather puppets) is one such art form and is the source of inspiration for movies, he said.

"There are 79 troupes of "Togalu Gombe Aata" in Kolar district and 13 troupes in Bellary. In spite of this, the art form is facing a threat from the modern world and is forcing artistes to take up other jobs," he said.

He praised the efforts of Panditaradhya Shivaacharya Swamiji of Sri Sanehalli Mutt for taking up the revival of rural theatre.

Speaking on the occasion, Basavaraja Mallashetty, noted expert on folklore and rural theatre, stressed on the necessity to protect manuscripts of old dramas and recording songs with their notations.

Gudihalli Nagaraja, journalist, opined that even epics such as the Ramayana and the Mahabharatha reached the uneducated rural people through theatre.

Nagaratnamma, a stage artiste from Mariyammanahalli, recounted her experiences in theatres.

Manuscripts to be published

Panditaradhya Swamiji said that the mutt would publish original historic manuscripts that are presently unavailable even for study.

"We will publish at least five to six manuscripts every year. Sscholars must take up the responsibility of identifying and editing these manuscripts."

Siriyajji, a singer of folk songs and recipient of the Nadoja Award instituted by Hampi Kannada University, was honoured on the occasion.

The workshop was organised by Sri Shivakumara Kalasangha, Sanehalli, the district unit of the Working Journalist's Union, and the Department of Kannada and Culture.

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