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70 years of song and dance

`GANDU KALE" is what Yakshagana is referred to as, the adjective of which, of course, has been proved wrong with the entry of women artistes these days. Yakshagana as an art form is still appealing with its distinctive charm. Being performed by various melas (troupes), Yakshagana has passed through generations amidst constant pressure from modern forms of entertainment. Idagunji Yakshagana Mandali has been run by three generations of a same family. The troupe will celebrate its 70th anniversary this January. Keremane Shivarama Heggade, a pioneer and the first Yakshagana artiste to win the Rashtrapati Award for his achievement, started the troupe. It involves the one and only Keremane Shambhu Heggade, who took this exclusive art form to new heights.

Announcing the seminar to be held on Sunday as part of the 70th anniversary, the utsava samithi president and principal of Surana Cllege, K.E. Radhakrishna, said: "The celebration will not end with the day but we will be conducting performances and symposiums throughout the year in various parts of the State." Various scholars and Yakshagana artistes will give presentations at the seminar. There will be a discussion with Keremane Shambhu Heggade. The "Keremane Shivaram Heggade Award" will be presented to Nebbur Narayana Bhagavatha, a Bhagavatha artiste. Shambhu Heggade will be felicitated to the mark the occasion. The evening will end in a grand finale with the staging of "Vali Moksha", an exclusive Yakshagana prasanga to be performed by the Idagunji Mela.

By K. Satyamurty

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