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About US - 80 Years in Yakshagana

Shri Idagunji Mahaganapati Yakshagana Mandali, Keremane® was founded way back in 1934. Since then, it has given more than 6500 performances and in the process it has nurtured and molded many artists. Shri Keremane Shivananda Hegde is the present Director of the troupe who has learnt Yakshagana under the guidance of his illustrious grandfather Late Shri Keremane Shivarama Hegde and Father Late Shri Keremane Shambhu Hegde. The troupe has staged more than fifty new plays based on the Indian mythologies and epics. The founder of this troupe, Late Shri Keremane Shivarama Hegde was a renowned artist who received the Sangeet Nataka Akademi Award for Yakshagana in 1971. His son Late Shri Keremane Shambhu Hegde was also a distinguished artist and was honored with National Award. Recently, the Troupe has successfully toured Indonesia – from 26th Oct 09 till 06th Nov-09 under the leadership of Shri Keremane Shivanand Hegde. The three generations of Keremane family have dedicated themselves to this art.

Saturday, September 04, 2010


The name Keremane Shambhu Hegde has become renowned in the field of art and culture in India and Abroad. His contribution to Yakshagana will not fade along with the passage of time. His sudden demise in 2009 has created a vacuum in Yakshagana. But trust has decided to revive his unmatched contributions and dedication to this field by celebrating a mega cultural event every year “SHRI KEREMANE SHAMBHU HEGDE MEMORIAL NATIONAL FESTIVAL” .

Celebrating the Silver Jubilee of Yakshagana Training Center “Shrimaya Yakshagana Ranga Shikshana Kendra” is also part of this festival.

On this occasion, trust wants to present cultural performances by eminent artists of different forms such as Yakshagana, Bharatanatyam, Chhau, Gotipua of Orissa, Langa Mangniyar of Rajasthan, Khatak and classical music of Hindustani and Karnataki. It has been decided to celebrate this event for Three days in the month of Jan,22,23,24 2011 in the premises of “Shrimaya Kalakendra at Gunavante, Honnavar, Uttara Kannada.

On This occasion we wish to strengthen and tone up our Yakshagana Theatre Education Center and troupe by adding a good Library, Yakshagana Museum, Documentation Center and Cultural Activities. To Commemorate the PLATINUM JUBILEE Celebrations of our Troupe, wish to bring out a Souvenir which will reach out not only to Indian art lovers but even in abroad.

Please note that contributions to this association enjoy recognition u/s 80G of Income-Tax Act 1961. We really appreciate your help to make this event more successful.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Idagunji Mela,Keremane

Post: Gunavante, Honavar N.I. 581 348 Phone: (08387) 234144, 234338 (R), 234188 (O)
Mobil: 9448189140, Send E-mail:<>  <> 
Director: Keremane Shivananda Hegde
Yakshagana is a traditional dance drama of Karnataka. The performing troupe is called Mela or Mandali which is traditional repertory and travels from village to village. Yakshagana is performed in open-air theatres throughout night in paddy fields. Presently it is staged even in indoor auditoriums with certain modifications.


Sri Idagunji Mahaganapathi Yakshagana Mandali Keremane ® is established in 1934 by Late Sri Keremane Shivarama Hegde and is steadily growing over the years. Today the troupe is striding towards the new goals under the dynamic stewardship of his grandson Sri Keremane Shivananda Hegde.

Unique Achievements

The troupe since its inception has been enacting the episodes of Indian mythology. It has been the endeavor of the troupe to maintain purity in tradition and perfection in its performances. Many experiments and innovations are conducted without affecting the traditional heritage of this theatre. Since its beginning, the troupe has performed more than 6000 shows. It has toured not only in India but also traveled extensively in England, Spain, Bahrain, France, China, Nepal etc., to popularize this art. Unadulterated performance of Mandali has been keeping balance in attracting both common mass and intellectual group. The Mandali’s constant exposure to experiments & innovations and consequent impact on the field of art inspired a researcher who obtained a doctorate by submitting a thesis to Karnataka University. The thesis “Contribution of Idagunji troupe to Yakshagana Art “ which was published in book form in 1998. The founder of the troupe, Late Sri Keremane Shivarama Hegde and the present Director Sri Keremane Shambhu Hegde acquired Central Sangeeth Natak Academi award for their outstanding performance in the field. Mandali’s dedicated artist Sri Mahabala Hegde and Sri Nebbur Narayana Hegde also accomplished Central Sangeeth Natak Academi & State Academi Awards respectively.

Keremane Shambhu Hegde

Sri Keremane Shambhu Hegde is an artist who added new dimension to Yakshagana. He revived the troupe in 1973 and made several innovations and experiments during his colorful crusade. He is first ever to start the time-limited experiments while the whole field is running behind nightlong shows. His experiments on presentation style with explicitly sensitive and artistic expressions in dance made the field to adopt the same. Diploma in choreography under the guidance of Smt Maya Rao obviously assisted him doing courageous experiments in the field. His portrayal of roles with perfectly balanced four Abhinayas acclaimed by many. Especially his works on uncultivated areas of dance like pathetic mood (Shoka Rasa) made him distinguished.

On studying the classical scripts of Yakshagana and dance, he introduced a new semicircular stage, which is considered as the first ever endeavourer of improvising stage perspective of traditional theatre. The stage enabled grater freedom to artists and offer clear view to spectators. It was designed in such an artistic way that it can easily be constructed and dismantled and conveniently transported.

Provoked by Shambhu Hegde’s vigor and distinctive style of direction with equilibrium, a researcher submitted a thesis on Shambhu Hegde’s achievements to Karnataka University and obtained doctorate.

Hegde conduct Lecture-Demonstration Programs all over India to create awareness on the medium and to widen the apprehension of art among audience. After finding the fact that the field is facing lack of good artists, he founded a training centre for Yakshagana in October 1986 with financial aid from Govt. of Karnataka. Many NGO’s and cultural organizations felicitated and honored him for his vivacious spirit. His outstanding performance fetched him Central Sangeeth Natak Academi Award in 1993.He was appointed as the President of Karnataka Janapada and Yakshagana Academi, Bangalore during 2006-08

Keremane Shivananda Hegde
Sri Keremane Shivananda Hegde has Yakshagana in his blood from his ancestors. After completing academic BA, he followed the path of his father, Sri Keremane Shambhu Hegde as he did diploma in Choreography. Beside that he learnt many folk dances of India under the guidance of Smt Maya Rao. He was introduced to Yakshagana as early as in his age 12. The constant guidance of his highly impressive grand father and father molded his elegant career.
Apart from performing at various places of India, and abroad with his father, he exposed himself to modern theatre also. He learnt Kathak and many folk dances of India. He toured all over India with the troupe of Natya Institute of Kathak and Choreography Bangalore, Natya Ballet Centre and Indian Revival Group, New Delhi. Also, he acted in tele-serials and has been dance director for many dramas. He toured extensively in UK with Chitralekha & Co. Burming Ham as a Choreographer and performer. His choreography of farce drama in Sanskrit Shringara Narathiyam and contemporary ballets Pragathi Vigathi presented in many occasions and appreciated by art lovers. He performs both male and female characters of Yakshagana.
His activity in various modern workshops is worth mentioning. He participated in APPEX Workshop organized by the University of California, Los Angeles, USA in 1996 as one between the two outstanding performers in the field of art selected from India. A lively, eminent member of the troupe he holds the position of secretary of Mandali and Yakshagana School.
Indian junior Chamber has awarded Shivananda Hegde as an outstanding young person for his exclusive cultural performance particularly in the field of Yakshagana and active choreographer in the occasion of Regional conference in 1993. He received Govt. of India scholarship of Young workers in different cultural fields (Yakshagana) in 1990 - 93. And in the year 2000-2 he received junior fellowship from Government of India for higher studies of traditional Yakshagana (A practical study of Uttara Kannada Style of Yakshagana with special emphasis on Nritya and Abhinaya)
He was a member of Karnataka Janapada and Yakshagana Academi, Bangalore. He has been invited, by the Art and Culture Department of (Studio 7), Bijeshowry, Kathmandu, Nepal for demonstrate and perform “Yakshagana Dance" in the Naga Theatre of Hotel Vajra in 2002. He choreographed and directed the episode ‘Mahabharata’ (adapted episodes) for Studio 7.Visited USA, England, SriLanka, France, Spain, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippine, Laos, and Myanmar to give performances. He finds his spare time in the movement of Environmental protection, photography and documentation of traditional Arts.