Yakshagana (yakṣagāna, [jɐkʃəɡaːnɐ])
is a theater form of Karnataka(India) that combines dance, music, dialogue, costume, make-up, and stage techniques with a unique style and form to depict stories of the epics and mythology. This theater style, resembling Western opera, is mainly found in the Coastal districts and the Malenadu region of India. Yakshagana is traditionally presented from dusk to dawn.
Yakshagana was evolved centuries ago as a theatre art and education to rural mass of India.The tradition of presenting a narrative through mime, gesture, dance, choreography, song, décor and music as a single Dance-Drama has its roots in Natya Shastra. Depending upon the song, actors compose appropriate dance movements followed by impromptu dialogues.Yakshagana has attracted people from all walks of life and all sections of the society irrespective of caste and religion. It is a befitting response for a form of art that upholds humanitarian values. Protected since hundreds of years in remote villages of Karnataka, it is now taking finer shapes in modern world. Yakshagna has mainly classified into two forms namely Badagu and Tenku tittu (Styles) unique to northern and southern parts of the coastal regions respectively. The performing troupe is called Mela or Mandali which is a traditional repertory and travels from place to place.