Festivals, Dances, Theatre, Literature, Art in News

Traditional art of Talamaddale


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Yakshagana, Talamaddale

Mains level: NA

The traditional art of ‘Talamaddale’, a variant of Yakshagana theatre, has gone virtual in times of COVID-19.

Try this question from CSP 2017:

Q.With reference to Manipuri Sankirtana, consider the following statements:

  1. It is a song and dance performance.
  2. Cymbals are the only musical instruments used in the performance.
  3. It is performed to narrate the life and deeds of Lord Krishna.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1, 2 and 3.

(b) 1 and 3 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1 only

Talamaddale theatre

  • Tala-Maddale is an ancient form of performance dialogue or debate performance in Southern India in the Karavali and Malnad regions of Karnataka and Kerala.
  • The plot and content of the conversation is drawn from popular mythology but the performance mainly consists of an impromptu debate between characters involving sarcasm, puns, philosophy positions and humour.
  • The main plot is sung from the same oral texts used for the Yakshgana form of dance- drama.
  • Performers claim that this was a more intellectual rendition of the dance during the monsoon season.

How it is different from Yakshagana?

  • Unlike the Yakshagana performance, in the conventional ‘talamaddale,’ the artists sit across in a place without any costumes and engage in testing their oratory skills based on the episode chosen.
  • If music is common for both Yakshagana performance and ‘talamaddale’, the latter has only spoken word without any dance or costumes.
  • Hence it is an art form minus dance, costumes and stage conventions.
  • It has an ‘arthadhari’ who is an orator, a ‘bhagavatha’ (singer-cum-director), and a ‘maddale’ player.

Back2Basics: Yakshagana

  • It is the oldest theatre form popular in Karnataka.
  • It emerged in the Vijayanagara Empire and was performed by Jakkula Varu
  • It is a descriptive dance drama.
  • It is presented from dusk to dawn.
  • The stories are drawn from Ramayana, Mahabharata and other epics from both Hindu and Jain tradition.

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