Senior Yakshagana artiste M. R. Vasudeva Samaga passed away near Udupi on November 7. He was 72 and is survived by wife and son.
Samaga lived in Koteshwara, near Kundapura. He was ailing for the last few days.
Hailing from a family of Yakshagana artistes, his father, the late Malpe Ramadasa Samaga, was also a well-known artiste and an orator. His uncle, the late Malpe Shankaranarayana Samaga, who was the brother of Ramadasa Samaga, was a noted Yakshagana performer and talamaddale ‘arthadhari’.
An accomplished artiste, Vasudeva Samaga was well-versed both in Badagu Thittu and Tenku Thittu schools of Yakshagana. As a professional artiste, he had toured in a number of Yakshagana ‘melas’ (touring troupes), including the more than a century old Dharmasthala Yakshagana mela.
Yakshagana artiste S. N. Bhat Bayar recalled that Vasudeva Samaga had exceptional oratory skills and used to completely involve himself in the roles, especially during talamaddale performances. He was comfortable in exhibiting all ‘rasas’ of Yakshagana including the ‘hasya rasa’.
He had formed his own talamaddale troupe called ‘samyamam’.
Vasudeva Samaga used to perform many ‘stree veshas’ (women roles) that required additional skills to perform.
Yakshagana teacher Mambady Subrahmanya Bhat said that the involvement of Vasudeva Samaga in all his roles was an exceptional quality of his.
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