Mangaluru: Yakshagana, a dusk-to-dawn musical theatre is a popular art form performed mostly in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Uttara Kannada, Shimoga and western parts of Chikmagalur districts, in Karnataka and in Kasaragod district in Kerala.
The art form combines dance, music, dialogue, costume, make-up, and stage techniques. All-night Yakshagana performances begin around 9 p.m. and go on till 6 the next morning.
In the earlier days, it was one of the most admired art forms and with little to no means of entertainment, people used to watch artists perform till dawn.
But these days as the spectators are taken up with busy schedules, the benches often empty out after midnight with only the sponsoring families staying till the end.
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Due to this, many Yakshagana troupes quickly changed the performance timings, scheduling them between 6 pm-12 am. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the performance was scheduled between 3 pm-9.30 pm.
The Hosanagara Mela (Hanumagiri mela) was the first troupe to introduce the new timings after which several troupes including Dharamsthala Mela and Pavanje Mela followed suit. The change in timings of the Yakshagana received positive responses from the people.