A month ago I was at Janapada Jaatre in Bangalore, a cultural fair held fortnightly to showcase folk arts from various parts of Karnataka. It was a great event and every minute of the entire two-hour show was an awesome entertainment. Here are some images from the show.
Artists assemble on the stage with traditional attire before their performance begins.
Goravara Kunita is a form of dance where performers dress up and dance wildly with small drums called “thamate” in hand. It can be scary for children. In the yester years, the dance was meant to ward off evil, and was practiced in the some parts Southern Karnataka.
Yakshagana is the state’s official art form, and is popular in coastal Karnataka and parts of Malnad region. Yakshagana is a type of Opera, where performers dance to the songs depicting stories from Mahabharatha. Interestingly, it mixes dance and drama. After dancing with the drums for a verse, performers break into a conversation to elaborate the theme of the verse. As you can see from the picture, lot of work goes into the dress and makeup of the artists.
A traditional dance to the tunes of a folk song – “Moodal Kunigal Kere..”
Another character from a Yakshagana. He is a comedian, as is evident from the image. Jokers, or Haasyagaara as they are called, are part of nearly every episode of Yakshagana. The episode they were playing on the day I was there was “Sreekrishna Paarijaatha”, the story of stealing the divine flower from Indra’s gardens.
Bhootada Kola was the star-event of the day, performed at the end. Kola is another custom to ward off evil, performed in the southern coastal regions of Dakshina Kannada.
Janapada Jaatre Information
Janapada Jaatre is a festival held at 6pm every 2nd and 4th weekend(both Saturday and Sunday), at Lalbag Botanical Gardens, Bangalore. The location of the festival is as interesting as the festival itself – it happens in an open air arena, where audience sit on a hillock, making it a Cinema hall like arrangement under the stars. This is an event organized as part of celebration of 50th year of forming Karnataka – Suvarna Karnataka Varsha. The event started in November 2006 and is expected to go on till November 2007.
Also see: More images of Janapada Jaatre on my India Image Gallery