Parthi Subba’s VAALI MOKSHA (Yakshagana) Director: Karemane Shivananda Hedge


Playwright: Parthi Subba
Director: Karemane Shivananda Hedge
Group: Sri Idagunji Mahaganapati Yakshgana Mandali, Keremane, Karnataka
Language: Kannada
Duration: 1 hr 30 mins

The Play
Vaali Moksha describes the incidents leading to the revelation and death of Vaali, the king of ‘Vaanaras’ or the tribe of the apes. The alliance between Rama and Sugreeva that happens here becomes a crucial point for the later happenings in the Ramayana.

Director’s Note
This episode is selected from the Aranya Khanda of the Ramayana composed by Parthi Subba, a 16th century Yakshagana playwright. This play has an interesting conflict between two communities, viz human and semi-human/ape like. Traditionally, this play was limited to the dialogue/conversation/ vaachika based Taalamaddale. I have tried exploring the new interpretations and possibilities of already existing traditional theatre elements, music and rhythm which helped in enhancing the portrayal of characters and the story, using choreography to create a spectacle. Here one can see a spectrum of moods (other than the main-stream popular depiction of Veera, Bhayanak, Hasya) including Love (Shringara), Sorrow (Karuna), Wondor (Adbhuta) and Tranquility (Shanta). It is an effort to reach new audience, breaking the barriers of language through simple narration and direction, without losing the framework of impromptu dialogue delivery, dance and narrative motives of Yakshagana. A short and powerful presentation of the story within the limited performance time has made this play successful in and abroad India. To conclude in a nutshell, even though direction of this play was a challenge, I found it as an artistic opportunity.

The Director
Sri Keremane Shivanand Hegde is the present director of this Yakshagana Troupe. He is also Guru and Director of a Yakshagana Training Center – “Srimaya Yakshagana Ranga Shikshana Kendra” at a remote village of Coastal Karnataka. Shri Hegde is a fifth generation Yakshagana artist in Keremane family. He has studied and practiced many classical and folk dance forms apart from Yakshagana and has toured all over the globe heading the Yakshagana Mandali. He has been conferred with many awards (Aryabhata International Award, Kuvempu Deepa Award, Ajithashri, Kusumashri, Chittani Awards etc.) and titles (Yaksha Sarathi, Nritya Param etc.). Currently, he is Academic Council Member of Karnataka State Dr. Gangubhai Hangal Music and Performing Arts University, Mysore and Member of Executive Board and The Chairman of Folk and Tribal Community of Sangeet Natak Academy.

The Playwright
Yakshagana poet Parthi Subba, believed to have lived in about 1600AD, is a celebrated composer of many Yakshagana Prasangas (or poetic episodes). Subba is believed to be the originator of new regional style, the Tenkutittu, the ‘Southern School’ of Yakshagana. He is also believed to be the author (probably the compiler and editor) of Sabhalakshana, a collection of songs used for the preliminary (Purva Ranga) of Yakshagana. Himself a Bhaagwatha and an actor, Subba widely travelled. His Ramayana is being used all over Karnataka by the traditional theatre by all styles of Bayalata.

The Group
Yakshagana is a rare 500 year old operative art form which belongs to our rich Indian heritage originating in Karnataka. It is a combination of dance, drama, music, dialogues and stories taken from Indian epics and mythology. Sri Idagunji Mahaganapati Yakshagana Mandali, Keremane® was established in 1934 by my grandfather Shri Keremane Shivarama Hegde. This Mandali is a non-profit NGO, and the performing unit of our organization has toured extensively in India and abroad i.e. USA, England, Spain, Bahrain, France, China etc. Many awards and recognitions have been conferred to the Mandali from all over the world, the prestigious ‘Raja Mansingh Tomar Award’ conferred by MP Govt. being the most recent i.e. last year.

Cast & Credits
Shri Rama: Keremane Shivanand Hegde
Hanuman: Timmappa Hegde
Sugreeva: Ishwar Bhat Hamsalli
Stree Vesha – Tara: Sadashiv Bhat Yellapura
Vaali: Vighneshwar Havgodi
Ravana: Seetaram Hegde Mudare
Lakshmana: Shridhar Hegde Keremane
Angada: Chandrashekar N.
Poorva Ranga / Kapi: Vinayak Naik
Poorva Ranga: Nakula Gouda
Poorva Ranga: Lokesh Naik
Poorva Ranga: Ganapati Kunabi
Tere / Kapi: Krishna Marathi

Bhaagwatha (Singer): Ananta Hegde Dantalige
Chande Player: Krishna Yaji Idagunji
Maddale Player: Narasimha Hegde Mururu

Director, Choreographer & Guru: Keremane Shivanand Hegde

Manohar Khushalani

Manohar Khushalani

Prof. Manohar Khushalani is a former Visiting Faculty at Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi. The courses he taught were: Animation & Graphics, Non-Linear Editing for Film and Radio and Theatre Appreciation.  He has won a total of nine Excellence in Teaching awards for all the courses he has taught at IIITD Earlier he retired from Government of India as Director Environment Management, Central Water Commission and held many senior positions in the Government Based on a Belief that Culture and Environment are the two keys to global sustainability , Manohar Khushalani has launched two portals: A Portal on Environment and Water called One Vorld at url: and two Ezines on Culture called Stage Buzz at url: He has taught extensively in varied subjects such as Dam Safety, Instrumentation, CAD, IT, Animation, Theatre, Newspaper Editing. He has conducted Courses on Environment Management, Water Shed Development, Team Building and Personality Development. He was an Expert Member of Prasar Bharti’s Committee for Grading & Short listing Films for Telecast on all channels of Doordarshan.  He is a Radio Anchor for All India Radio and has moderated several programs for the Rajdhani Channel He is a well-known Theatre Actor/Director and Critic, has been involved in theatre since 1977. He has worked as an actor in over 50 plays with almost every leading director/Actor in the Country including Badal Sircar, Feisal Alkazi, Amal Allana, M.K. Raina, Anuradha Kapoor, Maya Rao, Manohar Singh, Prasanna, Rati Bartholomew and Sushmita Mukherji. He has been active in the social sector as a street theatre activist. As a member of Workshop Theatre, Theatre Union and Prayog, Khushalani has participated in street plays taking up major social issues such as dowry, bride burning, Sati, banned medicinal drugs and communalism. Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Can’t Pay Won’t Pay, both directed by him, received rave notices from critics and audiences alike. Other plays directed by him include Badal Sircar’s, Sagina Mahato and Boris Vian’s Empire Builders for Ruchika Theatre Group. Khushalani has also acted in a few films such as Sudhir Mishra's Hazaron Khwaishen Aisi , Shoojit Sircar’s Madras Café and Pradeep Krishan's Annie Gives Those Ones. He is an Animator & Graphics Designer and has directed a number of documentaries. He also held a number of Honorary positions and was President of North India Films Association, He was the Chairman of  Jury for UGC CEC Educational Films Competition and has been on their Preview Committee since last many years. He was on the preview committee of Door Darshan Channel 3, was a visiting Professor at National School of Drama, New Delhi, and Film & Television Institute of India, Pune, AJKMCRR, Jamia Milia Islamia and Professor in Media at FICT, Delhi  He has judged a large number of Drama Competitions and conducted a number of Theatre / Management Games Workshops with Institutions such as AIIMS, NTPC, CWPRS, NWA, Karve Nari Prakshishan Sansthan, FICT, IIT, MAMC, Gargi College, KNC, Tagore International School and Vivekananda School. He is a Theatre Critic for IIC Diary, has also been a Columnist with Midday and Pioneer Daily and wrote Column's Called Culture Cocktail and Footlights Respectively. He was also the Guest Editor for an issue on Folk Theatre of ICCR Journal Horizons. He has written for Times of Indian, Hindustan Times, Blitz, Hard News, Hindu Business Line, Theatre India & Art Times. He has designed dams and hydraulic structures for the Government. He is a programmer and has developed Engineering design software in Fortran. He is a co-author of Irrigation Practice & Design (Vol 1 to5 - 1500 pages) published by Oxford & IBH and sponsored by National Book Trust. He has been a Director, Environment and Sociology, at the National Water Academy, Khadakwasla and Director, Environment Management Directorate, Central Water Commission and Member Secretary, National Environmental Monitoring Committee for River Valley Projects. He was also Director of Instrumentation Directorate in the Dam Safety Organisation. He was Chief General Manager and Head of Water Resources at Scott Wilson and is an accredited consultant with numerous other organizations He is a Delhi Public School, BITS Pilani, IIT Delhi and FTI Pune Alumini. He was also the President of BITS Pilani Alumni Association, Pune.

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