According to Priyanka K Mohan, a Yakshangana artiste, “this art from coastal Karnataka is facing extinction with just a handful of artistes left and no significant pipeline ahead.”
So, Priyanka made it her mission to popularise the art form. Though the young dancer has been teaching Yakshangana for years now, she now wants to reach out to young children.
To achieve this, Priyanka has collaborated with Bookosmia – co-founded by Nidhi Mishra and Archana Mohan — to publish a book, Yaksha.
“Yaksha introduces children to Yakshagana. I shared the content and Bookosmia, has created the book. The story is about a child who dresses up in a Yakshagana costume to school as part of celebrating the ‘super hero day’. This draws the curiosity of his peers, who ask him about it and he explains the meaning, the form and history of this dance form,” explains Priyanka.
She adds that she was drawn towards this art form thanks to her father, K Mohan, who also runs the Yakshadegula School in Bengaluru. “As I am also passionate about education, we decided to use books to popularise some of the not-so-popular art forms to children. We have started with Yakshagana and soon plan to bring out books on other arts forms too,” she states.
“Archana and Nidhi have brainstormed together to bring out this brilliant book,” shares Priyanka, who plans to release the teaser of the book on April 29 as part of World Dance Day celebrations. “By releasing this teaser we hope to generate an interest in parents using the print and the virtual platform extensively. And, the book, priced at Rs. 150, will be launched on May 20. It will be available on Amazon and Kindle.”
For details you can log on to bookosmia.com