Innovative spirit brings the best of Karnataka

Kumuda Setty

Karnataka has a rich history of culture and heritage and every art form showcases the beauty and belief of that region.

The Karnataka segment of the First Annual Indian Newslink Festivals of South India held on Saturday, September 21, 2019, at Sacred Heart College Auditorium displayed the folk art of Mysore (once the Capital City of the Mysore State), North Karnataka, South Karnataka and Coorg region.

Karnataka is one State that comprises many worlds.

From the District of Coorg

Kodava Dance is a traditional art of the people of the Kodagu (Coorg) district in Karnataka.

They perform during social and religious ceremonies like weddings and festivals.

One of the most important aspects of these people is their culture.

Kodava culture is ‘unique’ and strikingly ‘different.’

The first thing that strikes is their traditional dress. The draping of the saree is very distinctive.

Kodagu, the birthplace of the river Cauvery, is as famous as the beauty of their land.

The Kodava Dance was performed in a circular motion with swinging rhythm by Kodava women wearing their traditional dress with jewellery and conventional kumkum on their forehead.

Huli Vesha, a tribute to Durga

Huli Vesha in Kannada or ’Pili Vesha’ in Tulu was performed by the New Zealand Kannada Koota Youth Group. Adorning a tiger mask, painted and costumed to look like the tiger, they performed this form of Folk Dance, still popular in coastal Karnataka.

Huli Vesha is performed during Navratri to honour Goddess Durga whose favoured animal is the tiger.

Yakshagana on Epics

Popular folk and traditional dance, Yakshagana is special to Dakshina Kannada and Uttara Kannada Districts and is called ‘Thenkuthittu.’

It was introduced to Udupi during by the Kalinga Dynasty.

Its stories are drawn from Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavata and other epics and believed to have been influenced by Vaishnava Bhakti Movement.

Typically, it is performed from dusk to dawn and has music, dance and dialogue.

Rich in colour, the costumes, called ‘Vesha’ depends on characters is depicted in the play.

Rhythmic Kolattam  

involving groups of people who indulge in bending, swaying and jumping activities to the tune of rhythmic clashing of sticks.

Madake or Pot Dance, where dancers perform with pots in hands or balanced on heads and ‘Balegara   Dance,’ which reflects the aesthetic sense of the people, in particular villagers are a part of Karnataka culture.

The Kamsale was performed with religious fervour, combining martial dexterity and grace. It is a folk art performed by the devotees of God Mahadeswara in groups. The main element in art is the rhythmic clang of Kamsale, which blends with the melodious music of the Mahadeshwara epic in praise of Lord Shiva.

The participants in the Karnataka segment were Achala Murthy, Aditya Shankar, Kruthi Sriram, Lalitha Vijaynarsimhan, Mamatha Praveen Kumar, Manu Mohan, Priya Manju, Pushpa Shankar, Raghav Rao, Sai Krishna Bangalore, Sanjana Katte, Satya Kumar Katte,  Shalini Manjunath, Smitha Gowri, Sowmya Rao, Sriram Sugumaran, Sunitha Katte, Sunitha Rajshekar, Suprith Tumkur, Tanvi P Kidiyappa and Vatsala Gujjanadu.

Kumuda Setty is President, New Zealand Kannada Koota, one of the organisers of the First Annual Indian Newslink Festivals of South India, representing the State of Karnataka.

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