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One of the theatre forms generally described as folk but possessing a strong classical connection is the Yakshagana. It is a typical folk form of drama in this region, just as Kathakali is in neighbouring Kerala. Unlike the stylised costumes and masks of Kathakali, Yakshagana is a true people's theatre, commonly staged in the paddy fields at night and the themes are the same as all over India, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and mythological tales from the Puranas. In predominantly rural areas with little or no transportation, Yakshagana enjoys immense popularity and its exponents are honoured just as great stage artistes are. 

Although the name signifies the music of celestial beings, Yakshagana is an amalgam of the sky with the earth. here is both mystery and robustness about this form in which singing and drumming merge with dancing, and words with gestural interpretation, and players clad in costumes of striking colour and contours. It is the cherished cultural possession of the coastal districts of Karnataka. 

Dr. K.S. Karanth is the foremost authority on Yakshagana and has been working on all its  aspects, amely--dance, music, and literature, since 1930. He has led the way to a deep and  systematic study of this art form. He has spent decades travelling to remote villages within  Karnataka to inspect and study every Yakshagana manuscript, the earliest going back to A.D.  1651. With his fine literary judgement and aesthetic sensibility, he has traced the changing trends  in the performance of Yakshagana. He has interacted with hundreds of Yakshagana artistes to  find out what customs in training and interpretation had prevailed earlier and had fallen into  disuse and deserved to be resuscitated. He has put together his findings in the shape of two  standard books Yakshagana-Bayalata (1958) in Kannada, and Yakshagana in Kannada and  English (1975). The present volume is a revised edition of the earlier book, with additional  material and illustrations. 


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