”Yakshagana” is a kind of dramatic composition suitable for recitation before the rustic audiences by professional and amateur actors. This belongs to Karnataka and has a rural origin. It is an admixture of dance and drama. The word Yakshagana literally means celestial music. This dance drama is also performed throughout the night, usually after the winter crop has been reaped. Yakshagana mesmerizes each and everyone in the audience with its enchanting music and colorful performances.
Performance— a Yakshagana performance takes the form of a full-fledged stage theatre encapsulating the elements of song, dance and drama. Stories depicted from the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata and the Puranas produce an enchanting effect on the predominantly rural audience. After offering a Puja to the deity of Ganesha, the Yakshagana performance commences with a buffoonery act by “Kodangis.” A narrator narrates the story in a song-like fashion, accompanied by musicians playing on traditional musical instruments like chande and a maddale (various types of drums), and a tala (cymbals) handled by a team of three. Moving in sync with the tune, the actors enact the story being narrated.