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Title: Doddata: a folk theatre of Karnataka
Authors: Naikar, Basavaraj
Keywords: Folk drama, Karnataka
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi
Abstract: The folk theatre of North Karnataka is very rich and stands apart from that of southern or costal Karnataka. It has therefore its own distinctive feature, which have not all drawn the attention of thetare scholars. The folk theatre o f north Karnataka is generally known as bayalata. Which derived from ata which means a play or drama and aslo game in general. In the context of Karnataka, drama (ata) was classified in to two categories for convenience : Bidi ata (steet paly) and Attadata (stage paly) or Bayalata (open air drama). Attadata or bayalata may be divided into two groups: paduva lapaya (western mode) and mudalapaya (eastern mode).Mudalapaya is prevalent in the eastern Karnataka in general but predominant in north Karnataka di stricts like Dharwad, Belgaum, Bijapur, Bellary, Raichur, Gulbarga and Bidar. Geographically speaking, these two modes of drama are divided by the Sahyadri mountain range in Karnataka State. Mudalapaya may be divided into two categories : one, doddata (big play) and sannata (small play). Doddata is a form of folk drama, prevalent particularly in the north eastern part of Karnataka. This is usually performed by non-professional rural artists on festival occasions under the giudemce of a teacher called Atada Mastara. Doddaata performances are extremely energetic and require lot physical stamina and consummate skills because valour is their tourde force. This is evident in the dialogues, songs and the dances associated with it. The characters deliver a series of high flowing sentences full of Sanskrit words and internal rhyming, in a very high pitch virtually without any break or a change in modulation. The songs reveal a fair share of folk elements even though they are based on Karnantak music. Most of the songs are rendered by the ‘sarathy’. The background musical support consists of more than five instrumentalists. It is virtually a group. The instruments are maddale, gundatala and mukhavine. Harmonium has made a late entry.
Appears in Collections:Vol.40, No.3 [July-September 2006]

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