Deccan Chronicle

Yakshagana workshop by Shwetha Shrinivas

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Did you know that Yakshagana is a 400 year old folk theatrical dance form? Well this Karnataka folk dance marries music, costumes, dance styles, gestures, acting and extemporaneous dialogues and is a vibrant, living form of folk theatre art. And this weekend is when you have a chance to come up close and personal with the art through a workshop being conducted by Shwetha Shrinivas. “I had normal schooling amidst economic difficulties. When I was in 7th standard, I had an opportunity to watch a play in which my younger sister acted. I was astonished when she got huge round of applause and it still echoes in my ears. It was the magical sound of that applause that made me take the decision to become an actor. Today strangely when I look back I guess it was a twist of destiny as that was the only time when my sister acted and now she is a homemaker. And I am the person who has left everything for acting.”

Shwetha is a theatre artist and Indian classical dance practitioner, born and based in Bangalore and has been doing theatre for 16 years and has won several State and National Awards. “I always thought that classical dance was only rich. As I grew up pursuing theatre, I started earning sufficient money to pay for classical dance classes and joined for two reasons, one being the love for Odissi dance, which according to me is one of the most beautiful forms of Indian classical dances and the second reason is that this opens up new dimensions to my theatre practices as an actor.” She has trained at NINASAM, a renowned theatre school in Heggodu in Karnataka and says that the one thing she learnt from there is discipline. “NINASAM inculcates a strong passion for theatre and prepares us to become theatre professionals.” She has won a national award for acting and costume design for the play ‘Chithrapata’ which has been a wonderful experience. “In fact these awards came as a surprise to me. I was not even nominated for them. But one thing is for sure is that I have put all my efforts in preparing for the role of Seetha and did a lot of research in designing the costumes for this play.”


An actor in both television and Kannada movies she has worked with directors like Yogaraj Bhat, Aasif Kshathriya, Prakashraj Mehu, Dinesh Babu and Jaytheertha among many others. “I always felt that a considerable part of the people from TV and Film industry should become little more respectful and considerate towards actors, however there are definitely exceptions.” She was introduced to Yakshagana in NINASAM and says she was attracted to the art form being an energetic person by nature. “This powerful folk art form requires lot of physical strength to perform. The other thing is that the colorful costumes and amazing makeup triggered the designer in me.” Her workshop will introduce the audience to this colorful art form and expose them to a lot of the technicalities. “This workshop, no doubt, will motivate them to learn Yakshagana in a professional way.” Inspired by people who are truthful, hardworking and wise she says that she does not plan for her future but rather prefers to follow with the time.

  • What: Yakshagana workshop by Shwetha
  • When: August 3rd, 2019 at 5:00 p.m.
  • Where: The Courtyard, 105 KH Double Road, Shanti Nagar, Bengaluru
  • Queries: Tickets available at Eventshigh and costs Rs. 500 per person. Phone: 7338677996

This story first appeared in Deccan Chronicle Bengaluru dated Aug 02, 2019 here: 

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