Theatre in Karnataka

The first written play in Kannada Belongs to the 17th century A.D.it was titled 'Mitravinda Govinda' and was written by a mysore court Poet called Singararya.It was an adaption of Sri Harsh's sanskrit plays and as all the Kannada poets modelled their poems on great Sanskrit Poems,They took Pride in composing poetry than in writing plays.Thus sanskrit plays were the only ones available until the 17th Century.Gradually the writing of the Plays in Kannada by eminent Kannada writers picked up. Looking at the situation in a historical perspective,we see that writing of plays was at a time considered vulgar and of cheap taste.

A revolutionary change came over the Kannada people's theatre when the stories of the two Sanskrit epics- the Ramayana and the Mahabhratha- were made available to them through in oral tradition. The hold of these epics on the the psyche of illiterate common people can be gauged from the fact that to this day the majority of the themes of their plays come from the stories of these epics. Dance and Music predominated such plays.Gradully Plays were written to placate gods on bestow Goodwill on the subjects were written, This give rise to Yakshagana, Bayalata, Krishna Parijata and many other forms of folk theatre. The British colonialists also contributed in a great way for the development of the theatre. They brought with them theatre troupes,which performed plays of Shakespeare and other popular plays in English.Encouraged by this translations of these english plays appeared and they staged successfully.

Gradually, to cater to the the peoples's tastes,plays with a lot of dance and music in them were written.In the eacrly days,people of low castes,who worked as labourers in the day time were illiterates,used to perform on the stages, Gradually it changed and all sorts of people started acting in plays. Many literates started performing and another fact was that earlier only men used to appear on the stage. After a time, changes in society encouraged women also to appear on the stage. Professional drama troupes Started touring the state and performing at different centres. Some very old troupes Gubbi Company toured the state successfully. They made a name even in the neighbouring states and flourished. In North Karnataka, the companies like the Konnur Company, the Shirahatti Company, the Vishwa Gunadarsha Company, etc,, who had talented actors and singers like Yallamma, Gurusiddappa,venkoba Road,Garooda Sadhashiva Rao,Master waman Rao and others, gained prominence. In southern Karnataka, there were eminent like the Gubbi Company Toured the state successfully.They made even in the Neighbouring states succesfully.They made a name even in the neighbouring states and flourished. In North Karnatka,The companies like the Konnur company,the shirahatti company,the vishwa Gunadarsha company.etc,,who had talented actors and singers like yallamma, Gurusiddpa,Venkoba Rao,garooda Sadashiva Rao,Master waman Rao and others,Gained prominence.In southern Karnataka,there were eminent people like Varadhachar,Gubbi Veeranna,Mohammed Peer,Malavalli Sundramma,Subbayya Naidu, R. Nagendra Rao,Hirannayya and others. Thin stories, uninspiring dialogues and melodrama not withstaning , these melodious voices and irrelevant artistes held the audience spell bound by their comedy. In spite of all this, failing to respond to growing social consciousness and unable to compete successfully with cinema as a source of entertainment, commercial theatre slowly disintegrated. The latter part of the 19th Century and the early 20th century were the best times for the commercial theatre.

Amateur theatre was the theatre of the educated people. It catered people of refined tastes and it has variety in subjects. Kalidasa's Shankuntala was translated into Kannada by Basavappa Shastri in the Mysore court. These Plays required educated artistes. This movement helped in bringing to more and more educated Amateurs. In 1909, Amateur Dramatic association A.D.A.) was started in Bangalore, Bharata Kalottejaka Sangha (1904) Dharwad Young Men's Football Association of Gadag etc.,

The movement got a fillipin the second decadeof the 20th Century with Kailasam (Bangalore) and Narayanarao Huilgol (Gadag) wrote their first original plays. To begin with they were a protest against the melodramatic commercial theatre. Secondly, they touched current social problems; and thirdly, they did away with music, dance and irrelevant comedy. Kailasnm was a Genious with his ready wit Vasudeva Vinodini Sabha, Kannada Amateurs etc., were the new groups. There were playwrights like Ksheerasagr, A.N. Krishna Rao. Parvatavani, Kaiwar Raja Rao, Sri Ranga and others. In the earlier years. the Amateur theatre was mostly a theatre to be heard. The amateur theatre was a protest against the artificiality of professional theatre. The language of the dialogues was as near the colloquial style as the pompous, artificial drama rhetoric of the commercial theatre was farther from it. It was this which brought about an intimacy between and audience and the play. After independence ameteur theatre saw a spurt of activity Academies were established, subsidiries were granted, drama festivals were conducted and compittions were arranged National school of Drama established in Delhi trained some aspirants from Karnataka along with others. Sri Ranga interduced them to the Kannada amateur theatre. In the commercial theatre the audience used to watch a great actor or listen to a great singer in that particular troupe but in case of amateur theatre they went to watch the play itself.

Thus, the need for a capable director was felt. Talented directors like B.V.Karanth, came into the limelight.

The latter part of the twentieth century was a period of assimilation of varoius western ideas on theatre and following some of their practices regarding theoritical activity.Due to these inputs,contemporary theatre movement gained momentum. In 1945, Parvathavani's 'Bahaddur Ganda' (a transcreation) was staged 150 times continuously in which child prodigy Yamuna Murthy the first lady artiste to appear on the Amateur Stage, played the lead role. among the playwrights of the romantic period, Sriranga and G.B.Joshi could understand the new wave of theatre and wrote plays accordingly,and this happend after 1955, the reason being a change of outlook with the advent of freedom to the country.

Among the present day playwrights Girish Karnad,Lankesh Chandrashekar Patil, Chandrashekara Kambara, B.C.Ramachandra Sharma,A.K.Ramanujan Keertiinatha Kurthkoti,N.Ratna and Puchante are the important People who contibuted to the movement.New directors like Chandrashekar,B.V.Karanth. M.S.Nagaraj,K.V.Subbanna and N.Ratna Rose to the occasion, plays like 'Yayati',Tughlaq','Kelu Janamejaya',Teregalu', 'Jokumarasawamy', 'Appa','Kunta Kunta KuTuatti', 'Neelikagada', 'Neralu 'Brahmarakshasa', 'Ellige',Yamala Prashne' etc., are important and popular even to this day.

Sriranga has been a pioneer in this field He has about 45 plays to his credit and all his plays reflect social situations in the state. 'Harijanavara' 'Prapancha Panipattu', 'Sandhyakala', 'shoka Chakra', Kelu Janmejaya', 'Nee Kode Naa Bide', 'Swargakke mure Bagilu' and Agnisakshi' are some notable plays of Sriranga. The contributions of others are equally significant. Among them G.B.Joshi, Girish karnad, P.lankesh,Chandrashekara Kambara are Very important Some plays worthy of mention of these writers are sattawara neralu, 'Ma Nishada', Hayavadhana', Anju Mallige'. 'Hittina Hunja', 'Kranthi Bantu Karnthi' 'Sangya Balya', 'Baka', Neralu.', Neeli Kagada', 'Jokumaraswamy' etc.

Recent theatre enthusiasts like B.S.Venkataram,Prasanna,H.K.Ramachandra Murty,G.shivanand,C.R Simha and Ka.Vem.Rajgopal adopted or translated many English plays of Brecht and staged them,in 1980's theatre enthusiasts like B.V.V. Raju, Srinivasa Raju, T.N. Seetharam, Vishnu Kumar, 'shudra' Sreenivasa and D.R. Nagaraj have been succesfull in carrying the Theatre Tradition forward. B.V.V Raju's Sandarbh' and 'Sannivesha',T.N Seetha Ram's 'Asphota',Sreenivasa Raju's 'Nale yaarigu Illa' 'Yarillige Bandavaru' and Vishnu Kumar's 'Donkubalada Nayakaru' Have made them famous.The Theatre movemement has Reached all districts centers while it ws rest while it was restricted to Mysore,Dharwad and Banaglore initially.Young directors like M.S.Prabhu,R.Nagesh,T.N.Narasimhan,C.G Krishnaswamy and Veterans like Prasanna. Prasanna and JayaShree are in great demand. K.V. subbanna of Heggodu near sagar has won the prestigious international Ramon Magasaysay Award for fostering the developement of culture. This is a feather in Karnataka's cap.In the past decade, the theatre movement has undergone a sea-change. It failed to sustain the interest of the audience and the plays folded up it a whimper. Several important theatre personalities migrated to cinema and Many others went out of Karnatakain search of greener pastures. To over-come this gloom, several trends came to the fore in this decade. stage versions of popular Kannnada novels, short stories and even poems, appeared on the scene, 'Chomana Dudi,' 'Karimayi', Tabarana Kathe', 'Odalala', 'Samaskara' 'Chidambara Rahasya', 'Chikaveera Rajendra', Kakana Kote, 'Helathena Kela', 'Saviraru Nadigalu', 'Vaishaka', Kusuma bale', 'Bhoomigeetha','Kindari| Jogi', 'Mookajjiya Kannasuglu' etc., were staged.

Another trend was the one -man show by C.R. Simha in 1983, titled typical T.P Kailasam Its success encouraged several similar attempts like 'Neegikonda Samsa', 'Shakespiyarana Swapna Nowke', 'RASA Rushi-Kuvempu Darshana' etc., came to light.

During this period several plays reached their hundred show-mark and notched up a rare feat in Kannada amateur theatre Benaka's 'Sattavara Neralu', Kalagangothri's 'Mukya Manthi' Ranga Sampada's 'Sangya Balya', Yashaswi Kalvidaru's 'Samsaradalli Sarigama', Sanketh's 'Nodi swamy Naaviroode Heege', and 'Nagamandala' Nataranga's Tughlaq', Vedike's Typical T.P.Kailasam'.

Several other institutions and dedicated theatre people at different centres of Karnataka are doing very useful service to the theatre movement. Amara kaala Sangha, Samudaya, Samathentho (Mysore), Bhoomika,Abhivykthi, Yavanika, Abhinaya, Ranga Bhoomi,Kalamandira,Nataranga,Prayogaranga, Ratha Beedi Geleyaru (Udupi), Ranga Nirantara among the groups Dr. Damodara Prasad, Shetty, Ananda Ganiga, Devi Prasad,I.K Boluvaru(of Daskshina Kannada), Ananda Ganiga, Devi Prasad,I.K Boluvaru(of Daskshina Kannada),Gopala Vajapeyi (Dharwad), Abhinaya Ranga, Garood (of Gadag), Srinivasa Thavarageri, Ashok Badardinni, Dhruvaraj Deshpande (of Bijapur), Sripathi's Manjanabailu (of Belgaum), M.B. Patil and Girish Hiremath (of Raichur),Mudenura Sanganna (of Chigateri),Vishwatha Vamshankritheatha (Ilnkal),cariappa(Kodagu),Suresh Anagalli, Dr. Basavaraja Malsetty(Hospet), R. Nagesh, Prasanna Basavalingaiah and many others are actively associated with several activities of the theatre. Outside the state also several persons and associations are striving to spread the essence of Kannada drama.Venugopala (Kasra|god), Ballals, Manjunath, Karnataka Sangha and Mysore Association (all of Bombay) and Karnataka Sangha, Kannada Bharathi Narayan Rao Prabhakar Rao and Nagaraj (Old Delhi) can be mentioned.

In the second half of the decade, significant plays emerged. H.S.Shivaprakash wrote 'Manteswamy Katha Prasanga' and 'Madri Madayya'.T.N.seetharam's 'Nammolagobba Najukaish',Gopala Vajapeyi's 'Doddappa', C.R.simha's 'Bhairavi',chandra shekara Kambara's 'Siri Sampige' and Girish Karnad's 'Thale Danda' and 'Nagamandala'.'Suthradhara Vartha patrike'.now changed its name as 'E Masa Nataka' and 'Ranga Tharanga' are the tow news letters doucmenting theatre activities.Hubli has 'Ranga Thorana'.

A tragical loss to the amateur theatre was the accidental death of young talened actor-director shankar Nag in 1990 and B.V. Karanth in 2002. Ashok Badardinni and Druvaraj Deshpande are also no more. Kannada amateur theatre also went abroad in this decade. C.R. Simha's typical T.P. Kailasam' created a record by being the first play to travel outside India by presenting sixteen shows in America and canada in 1986.B.Jayashri took her 'Laksapathi Rajana Kathe' to Egypt and Bulgaria.Prabhath Kalavidaru went out to the Far East and the U.S. Mysore's. Rangayana presented its 'Hippolytus' in New York.

K.V.Subbanna's 'Nee Naa Sam' and 'Thirugata' the State government's 'Rangayana' at Mysore are active.with talented directors like chidambara Rao Jambe, K.V.Akshara,K.G.Krishna Murthy and Guest director prasanna. Thiru|gata' has been coming out with three or four productions every year. Rangayana,a state run Theatre Repertary was headed by B.V.karanth. with trained and talented people like Jayatirtha Joshi, Basalingiah, Raghunandan and Gangadharaswamy, Rangayana has come out with significant productions like 'Kindari Jogi,' 'Shakeshpeyarige Namaskara', 'Kusuma bale 'Bhoomigeeta' and 'Hippolytus'. Basavalingaiah has taken over the Directorship of Rangayana after B.V. Karanth (at present headed by C.R.Jambe). Pragranga and Yuvarang apart from their own productions, organise drama competitions regularly in Bangalore to encourage college and industrial drama groups C.G.K's Ranga Niranthra organised play writing by a group of young writters.

Karnataka Nataka Academy, in the last ten years has provided a lot of impetus throughout the state, by organizing workshops, festivals and by providin financial grants to deserving professional companies To help the theatere people monthly pensions are being sanctioned. Dr. Rajakumar, Famous cine Artist is conferred with title "Kala Kousthubha" by the Kanrnatka Nataka Academy and "Karnataka by the Department of Kannada And Culture.Dr.Gubbi veeranna award which is considered as the highest Theatre award established In the year 1994 is being given by Department of Kannada and culture, to the best Theatre personalities. The following are the persons who have bagged this award upto 2000 : Enagi Balappa(1994),B.V Karanth(1995),Girish Karnad (1996), Master Hirannayya (1997),H.K. Yoga Narasimha(1998),P B. Duttaragi (1999) and H.N. Hoopla(2000), R.Nagarathnamma(2001), Chindodi leela (2002), B.R.Arishanagodi (2003).


Karnataka Nataka academy award Winners

Awards are given to the best theatre Personalities annually by the Karnatka Nataka Academy, recognising the services rendered by them in the field of drama. Till the year 2001, four hundred and Eighty five artistes have been honoured with these awards. From 1990 to 1994 sixty two drama artistes are honoured in fellowships of Nataka Academy. Sri Sangeshwar Natya Sangha nas been awarded with "Annual Company Award" as the best theatre in 1993 by the Nataka Academy.

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Paddanna sharma Prashasthi

The Karnataka Nataka Academy have established Paddanna Sharma Prashasthi from the year 1998, to the back stage Artistes. This award is given to 72 persons, so far for their contributions towards enrichment of thearitical activities.


Yakshagana ,Among a number of folk theratrical forms of Karnataka is Known by that in recent times.In addition,Earlier forms like 'Bayalaata', 'Bhagavathraata' or 'Dashavatar a' also existed It acquired its present name because these plays were written in the form of musical dramas and that particular style of Music was called Yakshagana.This term now has become a synonym for the theatrical form too.

We get rich harvest of Yakshagana plays from 16th to 18th Centuries in Karnataka. In about the 16th and 17th centuries Siddendra yogi the founder of the Kuchipudi School of dance wrote his plays in the Yakshagana style. Thirthanra Yati, the disciple of Siddendra Yogi took these plays to Tanjore. Later, most of the 300 and ood playwrights came from the coastel regions of Karnataka, mainly Dakshina Kannada. Old Playwrights had exploited the Yakshagana style of music for every type of emotions and situations i their songs and Dramas.Over 160 'ragas' were used in their compostions,though today Bhagavatas are rarely and conversant 30 ragas or so.There are few ragas that are not found even in classical music.Nepali,Gujarati,Madhavi, Panchagati, Gopanite, Huvu, Divali, charite, Haradi, Mechale etc. are some of them .The themes for the play are selected from the Ramayana , Mahabharatha.Bhagavata and the puranas. Barring a few narrative lines, all the rest was set to Raga and tala,One essentianl element of depiction consisted and the other, dance. Both had simple literary material as their basic text. The dance elementshad good support from precussion instruments like Chande, Maddale and Cymbals.The characters of the play wore ankle bells (gejje) too. The essence of the drama was conveyed to the audience in prose which is dependent on the textual content of the songs.

To an audience not conversant it the Kannada language, the range of the costumes of a wonderland, costumes and make-up seemed to capture the garandeur of a wonderland, which was ably supported by a rich musical background In totalityk, Yaksahagana theatre is one of the few rich theatre forms that has persisted even today.The ethical and religious background Provided by temples have yielded to commercialism, bringing with it all the emits of popular entertainment.

Towards the beginning of this century there were a number of Yakshagana troupes, sponsored by prominent temples in the district of Dakshina Kannada.Saukar, Maranakatte , Mandrathi in the North, Mulki , Dharmasthala and Koodlu in the south are prominent among them. The temples concerned used to maintain them from their funds and some devotee of the temple used to pay for each performance which was free to the audience. There were quite a number of local patrons in the villages too. The plays were staged each night on special request. The actors and dancers who were originally agriculturists, served in the plays more as service to the deity than as a profession.

From 1940's things began to change very much in the institutional set up of the troupes. Temples began to auction the rights of conducting the shows. By then, the influence of the commershial drama troupes had attarcted people very much and Yakshagana artistes began to copy the stage costumes, and slowly discard traditional dance. Another feature, namely, the running of the troupes on a commercial basis with tents and allowing spectators entry into the tent by selling tickets, began to gain ground ; with this total attitude of Yakshagana theatre changed.

Now, there are a dozen commercial troupes and very few temple troops maintained by devotees that offer free performance. Yakshagana has become a fiancial success by catering to mass appeal. Many tradtional elements of the Yakshagana theatre have been left in the cold. Prose has eclipsed dance.Like the cinema's Craze for novelty,new themes are gradually replacing all old popular popular themes based on puranic and epic ones. Vulgarity in dialogue has become the chief element in creating mass appeal. A few prominent Yakashagana tourpes are from Ira, Surthkal ,Saligrama, Amrutheshwara, Perdoor and Idugunji. Among old temple troupes those belonging to Mandarti, Dharmsthala, Katil and Marankatte still thrive, but there too the trend of giving up old plays seem to gain ground. The M.G.M. college of Udupi has a Yaksahagana Kendra where about a dozen students are taught traditional dance and Yakshagana methods. Two more training centres have been started at Kota and Dharmasthala in 1972. The creative art form of Yakshagana with its rich costumes,Dance and music has Great potential but the people have yet to realise it greatness. All efforts of brining out Yakshagana as a sophisticated art from have received scant respect and encouragement.

Several artistes of Yakshagana have encriched the art by their efforts. veerabhadra nay, have Nayak,Uppuru Narayana Bhgavata,Irodi sadananda hebbar,Polali shastri,Malpe Shankara narayana Samaga,Mowaru Kittana Bhagavatha, Alike Ramayya Rai,Haaradi Krishna Ganiga, ,Haaradi Rama Gainga,Damodara Mandecha,Basava Naik,Bailpa Subbaraya,Hiriyadaka Gopala Rao, Agari Srinivasa Bhagavata,Kuriya vithala Shastri ,Udyavara Madhava Acharya etc., are among the noted exponents of Yakshagana from Dakshina Kannada. Keremane Shivarama Hegade (Kendra Sangeetha Nataka Academy Awardee in 1971), K.Sadananda Heggade,Ganapathi Bhatta,Mudkani Narayana Heggde (Kendra Sangeetha Nataka Akademy awardee), Babu Bhatta, etc.,are among the noted artistes in Uttar Kannada.

Yakshagana is very popular even in other parts of Karnataka and it is identified as 'Mudalapaya'. Aparala Tammanna the author of "sri Krishna Parijata,' Kulagoda Tammnna of Kulagodu in Belgaum district and Aliya Lingaraja of Mysore are famous Yakshagana poets. In the coastal region Nanjaiah Parthi Subba, Halemakki Rama, Hattiangadi Ramabhatta. Venkata Ajapura, Nityananda Avadhuta, Pandeshwara Venkata, Gerasoppe shanthappaiah, Nagire Subrahamanya, Dhwajapurada Nagappaiah, noted Kannada poet Muddanna and Halasinahalli Narasimha shastry are among the noted writers. In Dakshina Kannada there are two school of Yakshagana, called Tenkutittu (Southern) and Badagutittu (Northern).differ from each other.They vary in costumes, dance and other aspects Many telugu Yakshaganas also came to be written in Karnataka and among these Kempe Gowda, the feudatory of Bangalore composed 'Gang Gowri vilasam', Many more such works were composed in the Mysore Court. In Puppet Theatre too, the text and theme is of Yakshagana itself.Uppinnakuduru Kogga Kamath from Dakshina Kannada is an outsanding master of this art.

Mudala Paya is the variety of yaksahgana seen on the plateau, as mentioned above. An institute to foster it is functioning at Konchalli in Tiptur tq, by the efforts of Prof J.S. Paramashiviah, noted folklorist The Mysore university Folk Arts Department also promotes this school. In Gulbarga and Dharwad areas it is called Doddatta. Karibhanrana Kalaga, Sarangadhara, Kumara Ramana Kathe are popular themes. Basavaraja Malasetty at Hospet and Basavlingiah Hirematha of kittur are noted directors in the field Narasappa Bhagavata of Konchalli, Puttashamachar of Bellur(Manday dt.) Yatirajayya, (Gondetahalli) are some of the artistes from Southern Karnataka Monappa Sutar from Afzalpur, Budeppa from Byahatti, Najundayya Hiremath from Talur (Sandur tq), Ganachari from Gogi and Chandanna gogi from Hugar (shahpur tq) are among the artists of this school.


Painting in Karnataka

Paintings of Karnataka are of the pre-historic period around 2000-1000 B.C.The Representions of animals, Human figures etc., are painted beneath the projected rocks which formed the dwelling place of the Prehistoric people. Such relics of the art of prehistoric man could be seen in the districts of Bellary, Bijapur, Bagalkot, Koppal, Raichur and Chitradurga. The rocks of Hirebenakal, Piklihal etc., contain figures of hunters with weapons, horse- riders, bulls, etc. Many coloured figured on mud pots are plentifully found in Brahmagiri, Chandravalli,Hemmige,Herekal,Maski and Bangalore. The art of painting and its existence in the historical period have been referred to in the contemporary literature and inscriptions. Roots of Painting clearly encouraged in Karnatak|a may be Chalukyan ruler Mangalesha and only traces of the Paintings of his time are surviving in Cave III of Badami Due to historical factors, there are gaps in the continuity of this tradition or panting in Karnatka. We come across illustrated manuscripts 'Dhavala' at Moodubidare belonging to the Hoysala period.The figures,settings and the postures are different from the Kalpasutra paintings of Gujarat, illustrating the some themes. The style is distinctly indigenous and leave an impression of the ornamentations in Hoysala sculptures. Many references to portraits and pictures are made by Kannada poets like Rudrabhatta."Mansollasa' by Emperor Someshwara III has a section on this art.

A study of the paintings of the Vijayanagara period reveals that mura painting was practised on a large scale. The earliest such specimens are found on the ceilings of the Virupaksha temple at Hampi. A close study of the paintings in Karnataka indiacates that instead of reflecting life as it was during those periods, the painters had adopted conventionalised setting's,highly stylised postures, all bound strictly by the dictates of the Aagamas. The paintings seem to be pictorial versions of sculptures which are seen in abundance ever today. Even secular themes followed these stylized postures. It is possible that almost all the major temples in Karnataka were decorated with such murals. The Mysore Gazetteer edited by C. Hayavadana Rao mentions many such temples where mural paintings are or were found in Karnataka. The Terumalleshwara temple at Hiriyur, Narasimha temple at Sibi, the Jaina Matha at Shravanabelagola, Mallikarjuna temple at Mudukutore, Virupaksha temple at Hampi, Prasannakrishnaswamy temple, Krishna and Varaha temples at Mysore and the Divyalingeshwara temple at Haradnahalli, Jaina Temple at Saligrama are among them. The Daria Daulat at Srirangapattana, Jaganmohan| Palace at Mysore, the mansions at Nargund, Kamatagi near Bijapur and Nippani, Amminabhavi near Dharwad, Rama temple at B.K. Halli near Haliyal, private houses at Raichur, Guledagud have paintings.

From the later Vijayanagar period, the art of paintings seems to have split into two branches. The Vijayanagar rulers and their feudatories followed the ancient tradition bound by the Aagamas, while the rulers of Bijapur, Gulbarga and Bidar were responsible for the development of a distinct style known as the deaccani style. The finest specimens of this school were produced at Bijapur. Though this school was heavily influenced by the Mughal style, it had strong indigenous strain.

The southern parts of Karnataka continued the ancient style, which was developed at Vijayanagar. After the fall of Vijayanagar, the court migrated to different places in the South. The rulers of Mysore extended patronage to art. A considerable section of artists settled in Srirangapattana under the patronage of Raja Wodeyar. The colorful paintings on the pillars, walls, roofs, etc., of the Dariya Daulat at Srirangapattana are of varied themes and] subjects. Similarly traces of paintings are available in the palace of Tipu at Bangalore. In addition to murals, the painters were also commissioned to illustrate manuscripts. Such illustrated manuscripts with attractive and colorful drawings were in the possession of many old families. The most famous of such manuscripts is the 'Sritatvanidhi,' a voluminous work prepared under the patronage of Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar. This manuscript has nine parts, dealing with different topics, such as Shaktinidhi, Vishnunidhi, Brahmanidhi, Shivanidhi etc. The paintings illustrate ancient knowledge in the branches of the Aagama, Shilps, Jyothisha, Tantra, etc. The Jaganmohana palace has portrait pictures of kings and other nobility and pictures relating to puranic themes either in water colour or oil colours on clothes, glasses, etc. Sundaraiah, Kondappa, Yellappa, Durgada Venkatappa, Narasimhaiah|, Thippajjappa and others adopted and developed this style. In those days, the painter prepared his own materials. The colours were from natural sources and were of vegetable, mineral or even of organic origin. Gold leaf was applied on the gesso works and the hallmark of all traditional paintings of Karnataka. Besides paper, the painters painted on glass.

Raja Ravi Verma in the early decades of the twentieth century influenced many painters of the day in Mysore. Introduction of the European style of painting as a course of study at the Sri Chamarajendra Technical Institute, Mysore, relegated the older traditional painting style to the background and produced a new generations of painters trained in the Western modes and style of painting.

Many painters were trained in different centres in India and even abroad, People like K. Venkatappa, Pavanje, K.K. Hebbar, K.S. Kulkarni, Almekar, S.G. Vasudev, N.S. Subbukrishna, K. Keshavaiya, S. Narasimhaswamy, S. Nanjundaswamy, Y. Subramanyraju, Dandavathimath and N.Hanumaiah are artists of outstanding merit and reputation.

Among other artists of the state, S. Nanjundeswamy of Mysore has made an impression by his renderings on all aspects of the art of painting. M.Veerappa, S.R. Swamy and H.S. Inamati are noted for their composition drawings and paintings, mainly of the Indian tradition. Shankar Rao Alandkar of Gulbarga is famous for his paintings, which are intense with emotions. V.R. Rao, S.S. Kukke and R. Sitaram are adept at portrait painting. The composition paintings of Janab Sufi and the exquisite incorporation of the art of painting in inlay works by Mir Shoukat Ali of Mysore are memorable. Paintings of the historical episodes by Y. Subramanya Raju show an ideal admixture of Indian and Western systems of art. Ragamal Paintings of M.V. Minajigi and the techniques of mixing of water colours by M.A. Chetti in his paintings are Superb. M.T.V. Acharya was noted for his paintings based on puranic thems. The portrait paintings of S.N. Swamy in oil colours and his pencil sketches, landscape paintings of Tanksale, N. Hanumaiah and F.G. Yelavatti in water colours delight even a novice in art. Y. Nagaraju, B.H. Ramachandra, S.R. Iyenger, D.V. Halbhavi, S.M. Pandit, S.N. Subbukrishna and M.H. Ramu were experts in portrait painting. Rumale Channabasavaiah, Shuddodhana, Subbukrishna, M.S. Chandrashekhar and P.R. Thippeswamy have a typical style of exposing the rural life in varied colours. P.R. Thippeswamy was also an expert painter of scenes of temples and shrines.

Effective line drawings and caricatures is also another aspect of the art of Technical Education. Many private institutions have been established in centres of Karnataka. The government conducts examinations on modelling. The Karnataka Lalitha Kala Academy assumed its present format in the year 1977. This Academy arranges annual exhibitions and art shows. It has also instituted awards that are given annually to outstanding works of art. The Academy encourages holdings of art exhibitions and purchase of useful books by making liberal grants. The Academy has built up its own collection of works of art. Art camps are organised by the Academy in different centers of the state. Central Lalith Kala Academy is located at Delhi with its South Zone Cultural Centre in Chennai and South Central Cultural Zone in Nagpur. Bangalore City had the privilege of hosting many prestigious art exhibitions. Several camps have been organised by the Zonal Centres in which artists selected from the state participated. The academies also conduct periodic seminars on art and bring out systematic publications on the subject. 'Kalavarth' is the magazine brought out by the Lalitha Kala Academy. Karnataka State Government presented a bus to the Academy, which has enabled it to organise mobile art exhibitions. The vehicle moves in different places and works of art are exhibited in it. The exhibition is arranged at venues where the academy conducts its programmes like art exhibitions, art camps, seminars, symposia and during the Dasara and Sahitya Sammelanas.

Kondachari of Bellary, Purushottam, Agaram Krishnamurthy, Sherigar, Bayiri, T .K. Rama Rao and K.B. Kulakarni of Hubli and others are famous for their line drawings. R.K. Lakshman, R.S. Naldu, R. Murthy, Ramesh, Gopal, G.Y.Hub1ikar, Ranganath, N.C. Raghu, Gujjar, Pa. Sa. Kumar, S.K. Nadig and others are famous for their caricature drawings. P. Subba Rao, R.M. Hadapad, G.S. Shenoy, S.G. Vasudev, Dandavatimath, Halabavi, M.C.Chetti, Vijayasindur, U. Bhaskar Rao, M.B.Patil, V.M. Sholapurkar, V.T.Kale, M.S. Chandrashekar, M.C. chetty, Ravi Kumar Kashi, C. Chandrashekara, Babu Eswara Prasad, V.G.Anadani, Peter Lewis, V.B. Hiregowdar, Usuf Arakal, M.S. Murthy, P.S. Kademani, Madhu Desai, Ramadas Adyanthaya, M.C.Chetty, John Devaraj, Shankar Patil, Chandranatha Acharya, J.M.S. Mani, E.G. Badigera, T.P. Akki, S.M. Pandit, Ramananarasaiah Raghottama Putti, Goolannanavar, M.E. Guru, S. Kalappa, M.S. Nanjunda Rao, M.B. Basavaraj, Vishnudas Ramadas, Sunkad, Manoli and others have enlivened the art scene in the state. P.R. Kamalamma, Subhashinidevi, S.Dhanalakshmi, M.J. Kamalakshi, Sheela Gowda, Pushpa Dravid, Pushpamala, Shanthamani, Surekha, Renuka Markhande, Gayathri Desai etc., are among the noted lady artists. Siddalingaswamy, Nagendrasthapathi and Mahadevaswamy are noted artists in classical paintings and drawing of traditional themes.

There are many constructive art critics of whom G.Venkatachalam of Pandavapura, Shivarama Karanth, A.N. Krishna Rao, S.K. Ramachandra Rao, B.V.K. Shastry, P.R Thippeswamy, C.S. Krishnasetty, K.V. Subramanyam, A.L. Narasimhan, Anil Kumar are note-worthy. Art schools started by A.N. Subbarao, R.M. Hadapad, M.S. Nanjunda Rao in Bangalore. Halbhavi at Dharwad, Minajigi at Hubli, Akki at Gadag and Andani at Gulbarga have become famous. The Government has established institutes to impart training in this field. The Chamarajendra Technical Institute at Mysore was started in 1913 and the School of Arts and Crafts, (now University Lalitha Kala College), Davanagere was established in 1964. The state government honours outstanding artists with awards instituted by the Lalithakala Academy and during the Rajyothsava.

The Chitrakala Parishat formed by Late M.S.Nanjunda Rao, headed by D. K. Chowta (General secretary) at present is running art colleges, conducting workshop, art exhibition etc. 'Chitra Sante' is a unique idea of it for promoting art works.

The K. Venkatappa award with a cash prize of Rs. One lakh been instituted and K.K. Hebbar is its first receipient (1994). And D.V. Halabhavi (1995), M.C. Chetty (1996), P.R. Thippeswamy (1997), R.M. Hadapad (1998), M.J. Shuddhodhana (1999), M.S. Chandrashekhar (2000) S.S.Mano1i (2001), J.S. Khande Rao (2002) and S.G. Vasudev (2003) subsequently.

The following artists from the state have won the Central Lalithakala Academy Awards 1958-2000:

1. K.K. Hebbar, 2. S.G. Vasudev, 3. Balan Nambiar, 4. Yousuf Arakal, 5. Vijaya Sindhoor, 6. L.P. Anchan, 7. K.R. Subbanna, 8. N. Pushpamala, 9. K.S. Rao, 10. R. Umesh, 11, V.G. Andani, 12. M.B. Lohar, 13. Shesha Rao Biradar, 14. G.R. Eranna, 15. Veerandra Sha, 16. Ranganath, 17. Ravi kumar Kashi, 18. Ramdas Adyantaya, 19. Sunil Mamddapur, 20. Rajesh Achar, 21. Gurusiddappa. K.K.Hebbar and S. Rorich were honoured as fellow of Academy.

Karnataka Lalitha Kala Academy Award was founded in 1965. Upto 2003 (with a gap between 1973-80) 149 artists are honoured by the Academy. From 2001 Lalitkala Academy interduce special honour for the render service in the field and D.K.Chowta (2001), C. Revanasiddaya (2002) and K.R. Krishnaswamy (2003) were honoured so far.

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Karnataka Shilpakala Academy Award Winners

Karnataka Shilpakala Academy has started functioning since 1996. Apart from honoring artists academy is conducting sculpture workshop and exhibitions, books on traditional as well as modern sculpture are publishing. Upto 2004 a total number of 47 Sculpturists are felicitated and they are: 1996: K. Seetharamachar, K.S. Sridharachar, J.M. Bhaskaracharya, Shambha Anantha Shet and K.C. Puttannachar; 1997: C. Siddalingaiah, Ru. Kalacharya, Savitramma, Laxminarayanacharya and Venkatachalapathi; 1998 N.M. Badigera, D.M. Shambhu, R.V. Veerabhadrachar, B.N. Channappacharya and N. Pushpamala; 1999 : Datta Iraiah Shet, J. Manjunathappa, T. Shivaiahchar, Kanaka Murthy, D.H. Kulkarni and Ishwaraiah| Badigera; 2000 : B.S. Mayachar, K. Kashinath, S.S. Maligachar, N.B. Sabannavara and D.A. Deshpande, 2001: A.B.Patter, N.C.Venkatachar, Malloja Mayacharya, Najaraj Veerabhadrappa Shilpi, S.Shyamasundar; 2002: Sripada Kalappa Sonara, Yashavantha Eerappa Shetty, Varaadachar, N.Venkata Shayamachar, Shanmukhappa Kashappa Yerakada; 2003: Veerabhadrappa R.Patil, Vishwamurthy Achar, S.M. Shankarachar, Ningappachar E. Arkachari, K.Gopala Acharya, 2004: S. Nataraj, S.V.Siddalingacharya, Devadas, V.Shek Gudidar, S.P.Jayanna Achar, Lalitha Shankar. Central Textail Commission for Handicrafts is honoured a cash award of 7.5 lakhs to Parmeshwarachar (2003), Neelakantachar (2004) with 'Shilpaguru' title.

Jakanachari Award was introduced by the Department of Kannada and Culture in 1995 for outstanding sculptors C. Parameshwracharya (1995), N.G, Neelakantachar (1996), G.D. Mayachar (1997), V. Ramachandra Shetty Gudigar (1998), K. Shamacharya (1999) and M. Parameshwaracharya (2000), Dhananjaya Shilpi (2001), N.K.Mruthuanjayachar (2002), R.Kalachar (2003) are awarded.

Music in Karnataka

Indian classical music consists of two systems called Hindustani and Karnatak. Interestingly both these systems are prevalent in Karnataka. The Tungabhadra River more or less divides the domains of these two in this state. The word Karnatak in the context of music denotes a system of music prevailing in all the four states of the South India, i.e. Karnataka. Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu and Kerala, in the evolution of music, the role of Karnataka has been very significant.

Music, like literature and other creative arts, has been cultivated in Karnataka from ancient times. It was an indispensable part of the social and religious life of the people. Texts on music generally mention ancient theoreticians but not the performers who gave shape to these musical ideas. Bharata's 'Natya Shastra,' perhaps the oldest treatise on the subject seems to have been known in Karnataka from early times. The most notable work is Matanga's Brihaddeshi. This work deals elaborately with the science of music of the folk songs of his time. Matanga was the first to use the work 'raga' for the melodies that were current in his time and this probably laid the foundation for the raga system of the present day music. Sharngadeva who was patronised by the Yadava (Sevuna) king of Devagiri, has given a total number of 26 'ragas' in his work, 'Sangeetharatnakara'. Between the 11th and 17th Centuries only 32 ragas were in use and this is evident from a Vachana of Basavanna. Venkatamakhi (1660 A.D.) formulated his scheme 72 melakartas and the classification of ragas was completed by him.

A large number of theoretical works on music and dance were written by authors of Karnataka origin. The prominent were 'Abhilashitartha Chintanmani' also called the 'Rajamanasollasa', 'Bharata Bhashya', 'Sangita Sudhakara' written by Haripala, 'Sangita Chudamani,' Vidyaranya's 'Sangita Sara', 'Bharatasara Sangraha', Viveka Chudamani', 'Sangita Suryodaya', 'Tala Deepika', 'Sangita Sudha', 'Chatrudandi Prakashila', 'Sadraga Chandrodaya'. 'Ragamanjari', and 'Nartana Nirnay', (these three by Pundalika Vithala), 'Shivatatva Ratnakara', 'Geetagopala', Sritattvanidhi'. 'Shruthi Siddanta', etc.

An abundant variety of instruments were in use in Karnataka. The Kannada poets were well aware of the classical four fold divisions of musical instruments into string, wind, percussion and solid. They also reveal familiarity with an astonishing number of these instruments, which were in vogue. Among the stringed instruments kinnari, vellaki, vipanchi, ravanahasta dandika, trisari, jantra, swaramandala and parivadini find a mention. Shankara, Shringa, titira, kahale, vamsa, bambuli are the wind instruments mentioned. Among the large number of percussion instruments ottu, karadi, mridanga, dhakka, patha, dundubhi, panama, bheri, dinidima, traivali, nissala, dhamaru, chambaka, dance, dolls and ranja are prominently mentioned. Some solid instruments used were ghanta jayaghanta, kinkini, jhallari, tala and kamsala. Palkuriki Somanatha mentions about 32 types of veenas and 18 types of flutes.

Khanda, Shukasarika, Thpadi, Chatushpadi, Shatpadi, Varna Dhavala, Suladi, Pada, Vachana, Kirtana, Tattva, Ugabhoga were the different types of composition. Karnataka had a great number of reputed composers whose compositions are popular and relevent even today. There were many composers of the Veerasaiva faith like Sakalesha Madarasa, Basavanna, Nijaguna Shivayogi, Muppina Shadakshari, Bala Leela Mahanta Shivayogi, Nagabhushana Ghanamatarya, Madivalappa Kadakola, Nanjunda Shivayogi, Karibasavaswamy and Sarpabhusana Shivayogi. The Haridasa Kuta is said to have been founded by Narahari Teertha, the disciple of Madwacharya. Sripadaraya was called Haridasa Pitamaha. The Haridasas composed songs in Kannada in praise of Lord Vishnu. Vyasaraya, Vadiraja, Purandaradasa, Kanakadasa and others composed Kirtanas. Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar was also an able composer.

Purandara Dasa strode like a colossus in the musical history of Karnataka. 'Pillari geetas' composed by Purandara Dasa form the foundation for learning Karnataka music even today. Purandara Dasa is revered as the 'Karnataka Sangita Pitamaha' and is credited to have given a new direction to Karnataka music.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, there was a marked separation of the popular and classical compositions. Mysore Sadshiva Rao adorned the royal court of Mysore and was the guru of celebrities like Veena Subbanna, Sheshanna and others. Mysore Sadashiva Rao, Subbnnna, Sheshnnna, Sambaiah, Muthaiah Bahgvathar, Mysore K. Vasudevacharya (composed in Kannada, Sanskrit and Telugu), Devottama Jois, Karigiri Rao, Bidaram Krishnappa, Mysore T. Chowdaiah, Jayachamaraja Wodeyar, Aliya Lingaraja, Veena Krishnacharya, Rudrapattnam Venkataramanayya, Tiruppanandal Pattabhiramaiah, Kolar Chandrashekara Sastry, Bellary Raja Rao and others have left behind a rich tradition of their compositions. Among the lady musicians mention may be made of Bangalore Nagarathamma who renovated the samadhi of Sri Tyagaraja at Thiruvaiyar.

The reign of the Wodeyar of Mysore may be considered the golden age of music in Karnataka. They extended patronage to local musicians and also musicians of other regions. Veena Bhakshi Venkatasubbayya, Shivaramaiah, Pallavi Ramalingaiah and Lakshminarayana were prominent among the musicians of the state who received royal patronage. Other eminent vocalists, who lived elsewhere or graced the Mysore durbar, were Sadashiva Rao, Lalgudi Ramayyar, Mugar Subbanna, Krishnayya, Karigiri Rao, Bhairavi Kempe Gowda, Rudrappa, Janjhamarutam Subbayya, Lalgudi Guruswamy Iyer, Bidaram Krishnappa, K. Vasudevacharya, Tiruvaiyaru Subramanya Iyer, Kolar Nagarathanamma, Shatkala Narasayya, Chikka Rama Rao, Belakavady Srinivasa Iyengar, Chintalpalli Venkata Rao, B.Devendrappa and T. Chowdaiah.


Hindustani Music:

As mentioned earlier, Pundarika Vitthala (1562-1599), a native of Satanur near Magadi was proficient in both Karnatak and Hindustani music. Though the Mysore rulers mainly patronised Karnataka music, they also encouraged Hindustani music. In the northern part of Karnataka, petty principalities of Ramadurga and Jamakhandi patronized Hindustani music. Eminent Hindustani musicians were employed in these durbars. Giants of Hindustani music like Balakrishna Raste, Ganapath Rao Raste, Nadopant Joglekar, Balanwantrao Vaidya, Dada Khare, Antubuva Apte, Balawantrao Katkar, Alladiya Khan, Khan Abdul Karim Khan, Rahmat Khan, Ramakrishnabuva Vaze, Shivarambuva, Munji Khan, Vishnupant Chatre, Nilkanthbuva, Shankaradikshit Janthali, Siddarama Jambaldinni, Dattopanth Pathak, Panchakshari Gavai, Hanumantharao Valvekar, Vithalrao Koregaonkar and Ramabhau Kundgolkar (Savai Gandharava) were some artistes who resided permanently in these regions or graced these places with their music.

Some stalwarts in the Hindustani arena from Karnataka are Mallikarjuna Mansoor, Gangubai Hanagal, Basavaraja Rajaguru, Bhimsen Joshi, Kumar Gandharva, Devendra Murdeshwar, Vishudas Shirali, Puttaraja Gavai, Basavaraja Mansoor, Krishnabai Ramdurg, Phakeerappa Gavai, Gurubasavaiah Hiremath, V.V. Uttarkar, D. Garuda, N.G. Majumdar, R.S. Desai, Arjunasa Nakod, Sheshagiri Hanagal, Lakshmi G.Bhave, Manik Rao Raichurkar, Sangameshwar Gurav and Shyamala G. Bhave.

Many vocalists and instrumentalists have attained distinction and enriched the tradition of Karnataka by their original contribution. Among the vocalists, Chintalapalli Ramachandra Rao, Channakeshavaiah, Padmanabha Rao, T.N. Puttaswamaiah, R.S. Narayana Swamy, R.K. Ramanathan and R.K. Sreekantan, Kurudi Venkannacharya, Thitte Krishna Iyengar, L.S. Narayanaswamy Bhagavathar, B.S.R. Iyengar, A. Subba Rao, R. Chandrashekharaiah, Pallavi Chandrappa, M.A. Narasimhachar, Rallapalli Ananthakrishna Sharma, Sandyavandanam| Srinivasa Rao, Shrinivasa Iyengar, Vasadam Iyengar, Chokkamma, Neelamma Kadambi, Channamma, Papa Chudamani, etc. are prominent.

Among the instrumentalists, Veena players like Srikanta Iyer, V. Doreswamy Iyengar, Balakrishna, R.N. Doreswamy, M.J. Srinivasa Iyengar, R.K. Srinivasa murthy, R.K. Suryanarayana, R. Visweshara, Chokkamma; R. Alamelu, Suma Sudhindra and Rajalakshmi Tirunarayana are notable. The flutists include M.R. Doreswamy, B. Shankar Rao, V. Deshikachar, M.P. Upadhyaya, Rajanarayana, Shashidhar and Shashank (child prodigy). The notable violinists are R.R. Keshavamurthy, Anoor Ramakrishna, H.V. Krishnamurthy, A. Veerabbadraiah, Mahadevappa. M. Nagaraj and M. Manjunath, Sheshagiri Rao, A.V. Krishnamachar, H.K. Venkataram, Tatachar, Kanchama Subbaratnam, M.S. Subramanyam, M.S. Govindaswamy, H.K. Narasimhamurthy, T.G. Tyagarajan and A.V. Venkatarammaiah, B. Viswanath. Players of percussion instruments include M.S. Ramaiah, V.V. Ranganathan, Ramachar, M.S. Seshappa Bangalore. K.Venkataram, A.V. Anand, T.A.S. Mani, K.N. Krishnamurthy, V.S. Rajagopal, Rajachar, Rajakesari, Chandramouli, Bhadrachar, Praveen, Sonala Sheshagiridas, B.G. Lakshminarayana, Sukanya Ramagopal, Dattatreya Sharma, Ananthakrishna Sharma and K. Muniratnam Naranappa (mukhaveena), Ramadasappa, Ravikiran (gotuvadya) and Kadri Gopalanath (saxophone), Nrasimhalu Vadavatie, Bindu Madhava Pathak (Rudra Veena) and Rajiv Taranath (Sarodist) are other instrumentalists who are popular.

Gamaka art is an ancient one. The practitioners of this art in repent times include Joladarasi Doddanna Gowda, S. Nagesha Rao, B.S.S Kaushik, H.K. Ramaswamy, Gunduramaiah, S.Vasudeva Rao, R.Shankarnarayana, Hosabele Seetharama Rao, G.B. Gopinatha Rao, Talakadu Mayigauda, M.Raghavendra Rao etc. There is a Gamaka Kala Parishat at Bangalore.

The romantic poetry of modern period derived a new style, melody and new musical form, called 'Sugama Sangitha'. This form of music was influenced both by classical Karnataka and Hindustani music and also western music. P. Kalinga Rao was a pioneer in this field. He was followed by Mysore Ananthaswamy who made this form of music extremely popular. C. Aswath. H.R. Leelavathi, Jayavanthi Devi Hirebet, Anuradha Dhareshwar, Shimoga Subbanna, Ratnamala Prakash, Malathi Sharma, Kasturi Shankar, Shyamala G. Bhave, B.R. Chaya, B.K. Sumitra, Shyamala Jahagirdar, Yeshwant Halibandi, Usha Ganesh, Narisimha Nayak, Indu Vishwanath, H.K. Narayana, E.G. Ramanath and Y.K. Muddukrishna and others have made light music popular.

The Government of Karnataka has a separate section devoted to the advancement of music in Karnataka. The Secondary Education Board conducts examinations in music and awards certificates to the participating candidates. Many universities in the state offer courses at the graduation and post-graduation levels in music. The governnment also awards scholarships to talented and deserving candidates who are interested in learning music. The casette revolution has made an immense contribution in popularizing light music and also classical music by taking it into every household in the state. The role of the Kannada stage in popularizing music is in no way small. Varadachar, Malavalli Sundramma, Aswathamma, Nagesh Rao, Subbayya Naidu, Gangubai Guledgud, Sonubai, Subhadramma Mansoor, Vajrappa, B.N. Chinnappa, Sarojamma Dhuttaragi, H.K. Yoga Narasimha are a few artistes who made a name in this field.

In addition, the annual music festivals like the Ramanavami and Ganesh Chaturthi, music festivals in Bangalore and Mysore, art festival in Hubli, Savai Gandharva Festival at Kundagol and a host of other music festivals conducted annually by different organisations and association are providing stimulus for the popularisation of nusic in the state. Several institutions run by organisations are training students and aspiring youngsters in music. Sri Ayyangar College of Music, Vijaya College of Music, Ganakala Mandira, Vijayakalamandira, Sri Venkateshwara Gananilaya, Sri Vijaya Sangeetha Vidyalaya, Adarsha Film Institute, Vijaya Film Institute, (All founded in Bangalore), Sri Panchankshari Krupa Poshita Sangita Shala (Gudur, Bijapur), Sri Raghavendra Sangita Vidyalaya (Raichur), Tyagaraja Sangeeta Vidyalaya (Ramanagar), Sri Vanividya Society (Shimoga), Sri Panchakshari Lalitha Kala and Sangitha Kala Sangha Bijapur), Suptha Mahilamandir, Tumkur, Lalitha Kala Vrinda, Karkala, Ekanatheshwari Sangita Kala Mandira (Chitradurga), etc. are some of the institutions affilieated to Karnataka Sangita Nritya Academy, Bangalore. In addition to this a large number of private institutions are running music classes in many urban centres of the state.

In the field of Music there are four different awards. The state Sangeetha Nrutya Academy from 1959 to 2003 honoured. 480 eminent artists in the various musical disciplines.

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Kanaka Purandara Award Winners

Thitte Krishna Iyengar (1991), Gangubai Hanagal (1992), R.R. Keshava Murthi (1993), Bindumadhava Pathak (1994), Raghavendra Rao (1995), R.K. Srikantan (1996), Puttaraja Gavai (1997), M.S. Ramaiah (1998), Sheshagiri Hanagal (1999), Bhadragiri Achutadas (2000), A. Subbarao (200 1), Pandit Panchakshariswamy Mattighatti (2002), M.J. Srinivasa Iyengar (2003).

Puttaraja Gavai (1993), R.K. Srikantan (1994), Rama Rao V. Naik (1995), A Subba Rao (1996), Sangameswara Gurav (1997), N. Chokkamma (1998), M.A. Narasimhachar (1999), T.S. Tatachar (2000), R.K.Bijapure (2001), R.vishweshvaram (2002), R.R.Keshavamurthy (2003).

T. Chowdaiah Award Winners Ustad Bismilla Khan (1995), Veena Doreswnmy Iyenger (1966), Rajeeva Taranath (1997), Kunnaikudi R. Vaidyanathan (1998), Pandit Ustad Allarakha (1999), T.K. Mushy (2000), R.K.Bijapure (2001), Lalgudi Jayaraman (2002) (award for 2003 is not yet announced)

Santa Shishunala Shareef Award Winners Jayavanthi Devi Hirebet (1995), C. Ashwath (1996), H.R. Leelavathi (1997), Anuradha Dhareswar (1998), Shimoga Subbanna (1999), H.K. Narayana (2000), M.Prabhakar (2001), Ganthikere Raghanna (2002), Shayamala Jagerdar (2003).

The Central Sangeetha and Natak academy is honouring artists selecting from all over the country, thus the following artists were honoured. K. Vasudevacharya (1954), T. Chowdaiah (1957), B.Devendrappa (1963), V.Doreswamy Iyengar (1970), Shantarao (1970), N.Channakeshavaiah (1971), T.Chandrakantamma (1971), Mallikarjuna Mansoor (1971), Gangubai Hangal (1973), Bheemasen Joshi (1975), R.K.Shree Kantan (1979), Basavaraja Rajaguru (1981), Devendra Murudeshwara (1986), U.S.Krishna Rao and Chandrabhagadevi (1987), Thitte Krishna Iyengar (1989), Mayarao (1989), Honnappa Bhagavatar (1990), B.V.K.Shastri (1999), R.R.Keshavamurthy (1999), H.R.Keshavamurthy (1999), Prathibha Prahalad (2001), Sangameshwara guruv (2001), R.N.Doriswamy (2001), M.A.Narasimhachar (2002), Kadri Gopalanatha (2002).

Dance in Karnataka

As dance is a visual art, the visual impression of this dynamic art are lost on the sands of time. The tradition of dances current in Karnataka can be broadly divided as Janapada and Shista, the former being localised in certain area whereas the latter has spread to other parts outside the state. Very few art lovers of yore have left any written literature on the then existing dance. The Tamil text 'Silapadhikaram' refers to a dance of the Kannadigas witnessed by the Chera king Sengoottavan. An inscription in Pattadakal reveals that Devadasis were engaged in 'Nritya seva' in temples. Ganga rulers like Durvineeta and Narasimhadeva Satyavakya are described as well versed in dancing and singing. During the Rashtrakuta and the later Chalukya periods, the courtesans had duties assigned to them in temples and they were accomplished dancers. Many inscriptions have praised Shantaladevi, the queen of Hoysala Vishnuvardhana as being an expert in dance. Bhandaru Lakshminarayana the Natyacharya in Krishnadevaraya's court was called Abhinava Bharata. Dancers and artists were encouraged to perform during the annual Dasara celebrations by the Vijayanagar rulers. The Mysore court also encouraged traditional dance, following the footsteps of the Vijayanagar rulers. 'Manasollasa' of Someshwara III, Pundarika Vitthala's 'Narthana Niranay', 'Lasya Ranjana' of Simha Bhupala, 'Rasikajana manollasini' 'Sara Sangraha' and 'Bharata Shastra' written by Venkatamudarsani, are works devoted to the arts of music and dancing.

Perhaps, the greatest phenomenon that contributed to the preservation and flourishing of dance in the state was the practice of Devadasis offering service in temples. By the end of the 19th century, in Mulbagal, Mugur T.Narsipur and Poovalavadi near Chintamani, there were as many as 200 professional dancing women living with a number of Nattuvaras (or dance masters). There were many Brahmin scholars well versed in Sanskrit, Baratanatya and Abhinaya who taught the Devadasis the intricate art of Abhinaya. In the erstwhile Mysore State, it is heartening to note that Bharatanatya developed its own style, due to their efforts. There developed a reportary of Bharatanatya in which Mangalam, Stuti, Alaripu, Jatiswara, Veman, Pada and Tillana came in a sequence. During that period Kaviswar Giriyappa, Kashi Guru, Amritappa, Appaya, Dasappa, Kittappa and Jetti Tayamma are some reputed teachers, while, Venkatalakshamma, Puttadevamma, Ramamani and Mugur Tripurasundaramma were dancers of repute.

Bangalore came to recognised as a very important centre for the teaching of Bharatanatya Between 1910-1930, the art and the artistes had a decline due to breakdown of social values and also due to the influence of Western education which eclipsed the traditional and indigeneous art. After 1930, people like E. Krishna Iyer, Rukmini Arundale, Ramagopal, U.S. Krishna Rao and his wife Chandrabhaga Devi popularized this art in the 1940s.

During the wake of this renaissance in the 40s, many dance teachers grained ground in Karnataka. In the 50s the state of affairs changed with the foundation of the Central and State Academies of Dance, Drama and Music. These academies extended grants and aid to good teachers and institutions. Gradually, in the erstwhile Mysore state and later in Karnataka, the dissemination of the knowledge of dance art improved. Later, the then government of Mysore started the government examination in Junior, Senior and Proficiency grades in Baharatanatyam. The whole horizon of Bharatanatyam also changed after the reorganization of the State. As the 1970s dawned, Karnataka, especially Bangalore and Mysore could boast of many dance teachers and institutions capable of producing proficient dancers. The Bangalore University started the department of dance, drama and music. The future of Bharatanatya therefore promises to be very encouraging in Karnataka.

Many Institutions run by veterans of the art, are imparting training in Bharatanatya and other styles. In Bangalore city, apart from the Mahamaya Nritya Peetha of Dr. U.S. Krishna Rao, the others like Keshava Nritya Shala of H.R. Keshavamurthy, Menaka Nritya Shala of T.S. Bhat, Bharata Natya Kalashale of Manikyam, Bharateeya Vidya Bhavana Nritya Kendra, Ganesha Nritya Shale of Lalitha Dorai, Saraswati Nrithya Shale of Shekhar, Venkateshwara Natya Mandira of Radha Sridhar, Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai School of Leela Ramanathan, Chittaranjan Kalakshetra of C. Radhakrishna, M.V. School of Bharatnatyam', Sri Venkateshwara Natya Mandira and Gana Nritya Kalshale of V.S. Lokaiah and the dance schools run by Maya Rao, Narmada, Prathiba Prahalad and Vani Ganapathy are among the noted ones. Many other schools in all different centres of the state have gained reputation.

A dance village named Nrityagram was established in Hesraghatta on the outskirts of Bangalore city by the famous Odissi exponent, the late Protima Gauri. She had arranged for the training of students in all disciplines of traditional Indian dance under one roof in her Nrityagrama. The Institute continues to promote dance even after the death of the founder.

Even though Bhratanatyam scene is overwhelmingly dominated by female artistes, some men have stormed into this female bastion and have gained great reputation as worthy challengers. Some of them are, K.R.S. Prasanna, Dr. A.R. Sridhar, Ramu, Arun, B.K. Shyamprakash and Rajendra.

Many artistes of great renown have been striving for popularising the art of whom, N. Gundappa and K. Venkatalakshamma, S. Sundramma, M. Jejamma, Subbamma, Chandrakantamma, Maya Rao, Shanta Rao, Chinnamma, U.S. Krishna Rao, H.R. Keshavamurthy and V.S. Koushik are noteworthy. Besides, Leela Ramanathan, B.K. Vasanthalakshmi, C. Radhakrishna, Radha Sreedhar, Lalitha Srinivasa, Padmini Ramachandran, Padmini Ravi, Usha Datar, etc. have become famous and have also gained international recognition and reputation.

Natyarani Shantala Award Winners This Award is instituted by the Department of Kannada and culture. The Awardees are: K. Venkatalakshamma (1995), Dr. U.S. Krishna Rao (1996), U.S. Krishna Rao (1997), H.R. Keshava Murthy (1998), Maya Rao (1999), K. Muralidhara Rao (2000), Narmada (2001), Padmashree Shanta Rao (2002) and C.Radhakrishna (2003).


Cinema in Karnataka

The film industry in Karnataka has a history of over six decades. In their early phase, films produced in Karnataka were only based on themes from the Kannada Theatre. The first Mooki (silent) film was produced and directed by Mohan Bhavanani with Yenakshi Rama Rao, Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya, T.P. Kailasam, O.K. Nanda and other and it had the title 'Mrichchakatika'. During the 1930's two Bombay Industrialists, Haribhai R. Desai and Bhogial Dave established the first studio of Southern Indian in Bangalore named Surya Film Company and made about 40 silent films in about four years. During 1929, with the co-operation of Devudu Narasimha Sastri, Gubbi Veeranna and Algod of Belgium, an organisation named 'Karnataka Pictures Corporation' was established through which silent movies 'Harimaya', 'Song of Life' and 'His Love Affair' were produced. 'Sadarame', (1935), Hemareddy Mallamma' (1945), 'Gunasagari', 'Bedara Kannappa' (1954), 'Bhutarajya' and 'Domingo' were the prominent movies of that age with the last two being produced by Dr. Shivarama Karanth. Other notable films were 'Sati Sulochana' 'Samsara Nauka', 'Vasanthsena', 'Purandaradasa' 'Bhakta Kumbara,' 'Mahatma Kabir', 'Krishnaleela', 'Chandrahasa,' 'Bharathi', 'Nagakannika' and Jaganmohini.'

The notable personalities who made an impact on the silver screen in the early times were T.P. Kailasam, M.G. Mari Rao, Gubbi Veeranna, R. Nagendra Rao, M.V. Subbiah Naidu, Tripuramba, C.T. Sheshachalam, M.V. Rajamma, B.R. Pantulu, Kemparaj Urs, Shankar Singh, B.V. Vithalacharya, H.L.N. Simha and and B.S. Ranga, the last two of whom were instrumental in bringing the Kannada Film field from Madras to Bangalore. Bedara Kannappa (1954) launched Rajkumar who later grew into a legend in the Kannada film industry and also won the Dada Saheb Phalke award in 1997. In the 195O's the trend of social films began and the notable films of that decade were 'Premadaputri' 'Modala Thedhi,' 'School Master', '|Kanyadana.' 'Adarshasati,' 'Bhakta Markandeya', 'Ratnagiri Rahasya,' 'Nala Damayanti', 'Bhookailasa,' 'Jagajyothi Basaveshwara.' 'Dashavatara,' 'Ranadheera Kantheerava' and 'Bhakta Kanakadasa'.

The year 1964 was significant in the history of Kannada films for the production of the first entirely color movie 'Amarashilpi Jakanachari'. The same year witnessed the release of Naandi,' a new wave film made by N. Lakshminarayan. In the 1960's the man acknowledge by one and all as the greatest director in Kannada film history, Puttanna Kanagal, made memorable films, like 'Bellimoda' (1967), 'Gejje Pooje' (1968), 'Sharapanjara' and in the 70's movies like 'Sakshatkara', 'Nagara Havu' etc. The first film based on Children's subject 'Makkala Rajya' was also released during this period.

In the 1970's film makers started adopting Kannada novels by famous authors to the screen and this phenomenon became immensely popular. The novels of eminent novelists like Aa Na Kru, Ta Raa Su, Krishnamurthy Puranik, Triveni, M.K. Indira, Poornachandra Tejasvi, S.L. Byrappa, Sai Sute and T.K. Rama Rao were made into movies. Poems of great poet like Bendre, Kuvempu, K.S. Narasimhaswamy, Gopalnkrishna Adiga etc., were converted into film lyrics and they gained acclaim.

The decades of the 1970's is considered the age of the new-wave or experimental films through films like 'Samskara' (1970), 'Vamsa Vriksha' (1972), 'Abachurina Post Office' (1973), 'Kadu' (1974), 'Hamsageethe' (1975), 'Chomana Dudi' (1975), 'Pallavi' (1976), 'Karavali' (1977), 'KanneshwaraRama' (1977), 'Ghatashraddha' (1977), 'Chitegu Chinte' (1978), 'Ondu Orina Kathe', 'Ondanondu Kaladalli / 'Maleyamakklu,' 'Spandana' (all in 1978), 'Kadu Kudure' and 'Arivu' (1979), 'Yellindalo Bandavaru' (1980), 'Grahana' and 'Moorudarigalu' (1981), 'Bara' (1982), and in recent years Avasthe, Pushpaka Vimana , Surya, Tabarana Kathe, Kaadina Benki, Tarka, Idhu Sadhya, Santha Shishunala Sharif, Bannada Gejje, Hagalu Vesha, Nagamandala, Deveeri etc. The commercially successful films of that period were 'Nagara Havu' and 'Bangarada Manushya' (1972), Yedakallu Goodada Mele' and 'Professor Huchchuraya' (1973), 'Upasane' and 'Bhootayyana Maga Ayyu' (1974), 'Aparichita' and 'Parasangda Gendethimma' (1978), 'Mother', 'Mithuna' (1980) and 'Gaali Maatu' (1981), Manasa Sarovara (1982), Phaniyamma (1983), Anubhava (1984), Bettada Hoovu, Masanada Hoovu (1985), Malaya Maruta (1986), Ondu Muttina Kathe (1987), Suprabhata (1988), Sankranti (1989), Udbhava, Shabari Male Swamy Ayyappa ( 1990), Ramachari (1991), Kraurya, Pallavi, Anuroopa, Khandavideko Mamsavideko, Sankalpa, Bankar Margaiah, Geejagana Goodu, Savithri, Giddah, Ghata Shradda (President's Gold Medal), Akramana, Mane, Tayi Saheba (Presidents Gold Medal) (1997), Aparichita and Beladingala Bale.

In the 1980s the Government of Karnataka granted 50% tax exemption to Kannada films completely made in Karnataka and it increased the Subsidy amount to films. At present all Kannada films produced and processed entirely in the State is eligible for Rs. 2.50 lakhs (black and white) and Rs. 3.50 lakhs (colour). L.V. Prasad established a Colour Processing Laboratory in Bangalore, Besides, Sanketh, a recording studio of the Nag Brothers and the Chnmundeshwari studios were started. The availability of good infrastucture, encouragement received from the Government and the viewership had a cascading effect and there was a jump in the number of films made each year, in this decade. Films based on political and social themes, like Accident', 'Antha', 'Bara', 'Chakravyuha', 'Aasphota,' etc., were made in this decade. Films that were commercially successful in this decade were 'Antha', 'Chakravyooha', 'Hosabelaku,' 'Haalu Jenu', 'Mududida Tavare Aralithu', 'Bandhana' 'Benkiya Bale', 'Anubhava,' 'Anand', 'Rathasaptami,' 'Neebareda Kaadambari', 'Premaloka', 'Pushpaka Vimana' 'Ranadheera,' 'Suprabhata' 'Sangliyana', 'Nanjundi Kalyana'. Avale Nanna Hendathi,' 'Hendthige Helabedi,' 'Indrajit' 'Dada,' 'Deva', Anjadagandu,' 'Hridaya Hadithu', 'Gagana', 'CBI Shankar', 'Gajapathi Garvabhanga', 'Ramachari,' Chaitrada Premanjali' 'Bhanda Nanna Ganda' 'Jeevan Chaitra' and 'Aakasmika'.

Even though the background insrtumental music was in vogue in silent films, songs were sung in the first talkie film in 1934. It is said that the advent of modern orchestra in films was due to the efforts of P. Kalinga Rao in 1941. Playback Singing became popular later. Music directors like P. Shamanna, R. Sudarshan, G.K. Venkatesh, T.G. Lingappa, Vijaya Bhaskar, Rajan Nagendra and Hamasalekha have become popular. B.V. Karanth, Prema Karanth, Girish Kasaravalli, M.S. Satyu, Siddalingaiah|, Girish Karnad, Suvarna, G.V. Iyer, Nagabharana and Baraguru Ramachandrappa are film directors who have won national awards. A promising young women film maker is Kavitha Lankesh (Deveeri Film).

Many Kannada films have won a large number of State and National awards over this period of time. Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce was started in Bangalore in 1944. Some amateur film societies are producing film in 17 mm or 8 mm cameras. These are 'Assema', 'Srishti', 'Swajan' and 'Suchitra' Societies.

The first regional office of the National film Archives of India, Pune, was started in Bangalore in 1982 at Chowdiah Memorial Ha11. It is engaged in collecting and preserving old and memorable films made in all the regional language of South India. The popular film studios of Karnataka are Premier Studio at Mysore and Chamundeshwari, Sree Kantheerava and Abhimaan at Bangalore. Many colour laboratories, processing units and recording units are also functioning in Bangalore, Which is the Film City of Karnataka.

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Apart from veteran 'Karnataka Ratna' Dr. Rajkumar who has won prestigious Dada Phalke Award, the Kannada screen has produced a host of talented artistes like Ashwath, Vishnuvardhan, Ambarish, Upendra, Balakrishna, Narasimha Raju, Kalyan Kumar, Udaya Kumar, Gangadhar, Prabhakar, Sridhar. Ravichandran, Kashinath, Shankar Nag, Ananth Nag, Lokesh, Rajesh. Sudharshan, Srinath, C.R. Simha, Dwarkish, Vajramuni, Ramesh Arvind. Ramgopal etc., and actresses like M.V. Rajamma, Leelavathi, B.V. Radha, Jayamma, Pandari Bai, Ramya, Soundarya, B. Saroja Devi, Jayanthi, Kalpana, Aarti, Bharati, Manjula, Harini, Jayamala, Jayalakshmi, Malashri, Sudha Rani, Vaishali Kasaravalli, Tara etc.

G.V. Iyer is the first to make the Film in Sanskrit 'Adi Shankaracharya' in 1984, which won for him the nations highest award. He further made 'Madhwacharya' in Kannada in 1986 and 'Ramanujacharya' in 1988 in Tamil trying to bring out the teachings of these saint, philosophers, through the medium of Cinema. Iyer again won the national award for his film 'Bhagavadgeetha' in 1993.


The following films have won National Award under different Categories

1955, Bedara Kannappa, Certificate of Merit; 1969, Mannina Maga, Technical Award; 1970, Gejje Pooje, All India Award; 197 1, Samskara, President Gold Medal; Naguva Hoovu, Regional Award; 1972, Vamsha Vriksha, All India Award, Regional Award; 1973, Shara Panjara, Regional Award; 1974, Kaadu, All India Award; Abachurina Post Office, Regional Award; 1975 Kankana, Regional Award, Rajat Kamal; 1976, Chomana Dudi, Swarna Kamal, Rajat Kamal; Hamsageethe, Rajat Kamal 1977, Pallavi, A11 India Award, Rajat Kamal; Rishya Shringa Technical Award, Rajat Kamal; 1978, Ghatashradda, All India Award, Swarna Kamal, Rajat Kamal; Tabbaliyu Neenade Magane, Regional Award, Rajat Kamal;| 1979, Grahana, Rajat Kamal, Ondanondu Kaldalli, Rajat Kamal; 1980, Dangeyedda Makkalu, Swarna Kamal; Arivu, Rajat Kamal; 1982, Bara, Rajat Kamal 1983, Phaniyamma, Rajat Kamal, Swarna Kamal; 1984, Adi Shankaracharya, Swarna Kamal; Banker Margayya, Rajat Kamal; 1985, Accident, Rajat Kamal; Bandhana, Rajat Kamal; 1986, Bettada Hoovu, Rajat Kamal; 1987, Tabarana Kathe All India Award, Swarna Kamal; Madhvacharya, all India Award, rajat Kamal; 1988, Pushpaka Vimana, All India Award, Swarna Kamal; Kaadina Benki, Rajat Kamal; 1989, Bannada Vesha, Rajat Kamal; 1990, santha Shishunala Sharieff, All India Award, Rajat Kamal; Jamboo Savari, All India Award, Swarna Kamal; Mane, Rajat Kamal; Muthina haara, Regional Award; 1991, Mysoora Mallige, Regional Award; 1992, Harakeya Kuri, Regional award; 1993, Devara Kadu, Environmental Awareness Award; Chinnari Mutta, regional Award; 1994, Kotreshi Kanasu, Best Film; 1995, Krowrya, Regional award; 1997, America America, Regional award, 1997, Tayi Saheba, Swarna Kamal; Bhoomi Geetha, Environmental Awareness Award; 1997, Mungarina Minchu, Regional Award; 1998, hoomale, regional award, 1999, Kanoora Heggadati, Regional award; 2000, Matadhana, Regional Award, Munnudi, Social Awareness Award; 2001, Dweepa, Swarna Kamal; 2002, Athithi, Regional Award; 2004, Preethi, Prema Pranaya, Regional Award;