Yakshagana Legend Balipa Narayana Bhagavatha Passes Away at 85


Balipa Narayana Bhagavatha, a renowned Yakshagana artist and performer, passed away at the age of 85 in Udupi, Karnataka. Bhagavatha was a master of the art form, which is a traditional dance drama that originated in Karnataka and is performed with elaborate costumes, makeup, and music.

Bhagavatha was born in 1937 in the village of Balipa, Udupi, and was initiated into Yakshagana by his father, Narayana Bhagavatha. He went on to become one of the most accomplished Yakshagana artists of his generation and was recognized for his performances all over the world.

Yakshagana is a unique art form that combines dance, music, and drama, and is typically performed in open-air venues or village temples. The performances are based on mythological stories and are characterized by colorful costumes, elaborate makeup, and energetic dance movements.

Bhagavatha was known for his versatility and ability to play a wide range of characters in Yakshagana, including both male and female roles. He was particularly famous for his portrayal of negative characters, which he brought to life with his powerful performances.

Bhagavatha was also a teacher and mentor to many aspiring Yakshagana artists. He was known for his dedication to the art form and his efforts to preserve and promote Yakshagana in Karnataka and beyond.

Over the course of his career, Bhagavatha received numerous awards and accolades for his contributions to Yakshagana. In 2013, he was awarded the Padma Shri, one of India’s highest civilian honors, for his outstanding contributions to the arts.

Bhagavatha’s passing is a great loss to the Yakshagana community in Karnataka and beyond. He was a true legend of the art form and will be remembered for his unparalleled contributions to Yakshagana and his tireless efforts to promote and preserve this unique cultural heritage.

In conclusion, the passing of Balipa Narayana Bhagavatha is a significant loss to the world of Yakshagana and the wider cultural landscape of Karnataka. Bhagavatha’s contributions to the art form have been immeasurable, and his legacy will continue to inspire and influence generations of Yakshagana artists to come.


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