more ads
Kamat's Potpourri Amma's Column .
Kamat's PotpourriNew Contents
About the Kamats
Feedback
History of India
Women of India
Faces of India
Indian Mythologies
geographica indicaArts of India
Indian Music
Indian Culture
Indian Paintings
Dig Deep Browse by Tags
Site Map
Historical Timeline
Master Index
Research House of Pictures
Stamps of India
Picture Archive
Natives of India
Temples of India
Kamat Network
Blog Portal

Durable Link to this BlogFriday, April 16, 2010

Mantapa Prabhakar Upadhyaya

It was the month of August in the year 2001. The area around Sharavati river was lush green due to incessant rains. Kamat was leisurely wandering and clicking the scenes and places where he had tread as a kid. We were told that in the nearby village Kavalakki's Sanskrit Pathashala a Yakshagana was being enacted. Later news reached that only women played all the roles. Finally we were told that famous characters from Vyasa Mahabharata like Kunti, Draupadi etc are being played by a young talented male artist. Additional attraction was the presence of Shatavadhani Ganesh who would provide suitable commentary.

Kamat and myself hurriedly reached the spot.

Artist Mantap Prabahakar Upadhyaya

Man Dressing up as a woman

Performing Artits Mantap Prabhakar Updhyaya

Mantapa- in the prosses of becoming Draupadi

It was too early a time for the show. Harikathe, Play or Yakshagana in mofussil areas start late, to enable the small businessmen, their families, shop owners etc who are real connoisseurs of popular art, to attend. Kamat gleefully took pictures of Prabhakara getting ready. These pictures became historical. Four months later, Kamat was no more.

After a decade now, Mantapa has created history. He has paved a new line in the strictly classical and traditional way of Yakshagana-dance-drama-by his mono acting roles. These are mainly famous female characters of Ramayana and Mahabharata. He had good training under renowned Yakshagana a Masters like Keremanes and Chittani. He occasionally did female roles with them as well.

Yakshagana is a all-male enacting form. Female characters come as secondary ones to heroes. Mantapa had special training in Bharatanatyam under Sundari Santanam who carries on the great dance style of Padma Subramanyam. Thus he had unique background of traditional and classical Indian dance format.

A chance meeting with Shatavadhani Ganesh and following experiments opened the way for his hidden talent. He started mono character-acting bringing in several nuances of a female's moods, in mythological garbs. He became a success.

© K.L.Kamat
Performing Artits Mantap Prabhakar Updhyaya
Performing Artits Mantap Prabhakar Updhyaya
Updhyaya getting ready for a performance, Village of Kavalakki, 2001

But this was his hobby. He opened an ice-cream parlour in Bangalore and was very successful in no time with his supportive wife Mangala. Ganesh helped him to bring to life lesser known but quite important mythological female characters. Prabhakar is matchless in giving depiction to emotions of anger, devotion, love, resentment etc. Thus Amba (self-esteem) Putana(dubious), Chitrangada ( a virago), Prabhavathi (overweening) are full of life and beaming in Prabhakara Upadhyaya. The inevitable Bhagavata and Yakshgana drums of Chende and Maddale along with flute etc at time make the ensemble. But it is Mantapa the character personified, who reigns the stage throughout.

Recently, one thousandth mono-acting show of Mantapa was arranged at Moodbidri (in South Kanara). It was given wide coverage in the media. The latent talent rightly presented in an organized way could be a thrilling experience. This highly talented, artist is fifty now. Though he has retained the slim build, lithe gait and good looks, age is deterrent factor and dancing being a rigorous artistic way is tiresome. The innovations these days are towards acting than dancing and Ganesh-Prabhakara duo have been creating new format.

Its wide acceptability is a matter of time.

Amma's Column by Jyotsna Kamat

More Entries...

Browse Amma's Column by Tags

1920s - ancient India - avatars - banana - bangalore - buddha - calcutta - christmas - coins - colin mackenzie - colonel - conference ii - conversions - cousin - cows - customs - dalit - democracy - dhols - dr narayan - drums - dung - fables - far east - gandhi - gandhiji - great deluge - guru - hinduism - home library - human body - idolatry - kalpa - karnataka - kautilya - kingdoms - krishna - manners - marriage - new books - new year - nuances - obituary - old temple - patience - personalities - peru - pontiff - postal service - prime source - queen - rao - relevance - religion - revolt - romance - runners - saga - saints - Saints of India - salt satyagraha - science - shaven heads - sher - sri lanka - suresh - terracotta - tradition - trauma - tsunami - tulunadu - unity - universality - women - zen - 11th century - 75th anniversary - alberuni - all india radio - amrita - ancient art - ancient india - ancient indians - animals - anmori - arthashastra - autobiographical notes - b_g_l_swamy - babies - basham - bedas - belief - bengaluru - bhagat singh - Bhagatsingh as seen by Kamaladevi. - bhagavata purana - bhagirath - Bhakti Cult - bharata - bhat - blouse - brahmin - brute - buddha jayanti - card games - cart - caste system - centenary tribute - centennial - chanakya - chariot - cheers - chilli - chinese monk - Christmas - christmas eve - cloud messenger - cockfights - code of manu - colonel colin - complete works - conch shell - cuisine - curry - customs - dasa - demons - dessert - devil worship - dhyan - dikshit - dikshitar - discovery - doldrums - eknath - elephant - empire - epigraphy - fanny - festival foods - festive - forest scene - freedom - gandhi - gandhiji - ganesh - gautama buddha - gayatri mantra - gesture - Goa - gods - gramophone record - grandmother - great men - grinder - guru - happy new year - haste - helping hands - hind swaraj - hind_swaraj - hindu - hindu religious symbols - hindu texts - hinduism - hindus - history conference - humanist - hunger - idolatry - indian civil service - indian names - indians - institution of marriage - interviews - jaina - juggernaut - kamath - kannada - karnataka - kasaragod - kavya - keladi - krishna - laughing buddha - legacy - lotus - loving touch - m n srinivas - mallya - mama - mango season - manu - masters - materialism - medieval india - memories - middle path - midwife - misadventure - moorthy - music tradition - musical - musings - narad - narada - new articles - night life - obituary - offerings - old photo - Om - ornaments - pai - pampa - panchatantra - peacock - peacock dance - peacock dress - pearls - philanthropist - pigeons - poet - poetess - potpourri - prayer - prehistory - promising artist - prostitutes - queen - quilt - rahul - rajasthan - rajendra - ramayana - ramdas - rao - rare volume - robber - roots - rubaiyat of omar khayyam - saints - sane guruji - saraswati - saraswats - science - scorn - sea navigation - sedam - serpent worship - shameful practice - sharana - shastra - shivaji - silver art - sorab - south east asia - south india - subba rao - sunset - swami - swamy - swastika - tara - tea - temple school - temple town - terracotta_town - three books - tiger - titan - tonsure - torave_ramayan - tradition - translator - travelogue - tree of life - tribute - tsunami damage - Tulasidas - tuluva - upanishad - vedanta - vedas - viswanath - Viswanath Kashinath Rajwade - vivekananda - w h sleeman - wall paintings - what is in a name - wilks -

Jyotsna Kamat

Jyotsna Kamat Ph.D. lives in Bangalore.


Introduction


ARCHIVES


Search Amma's Column


More articles by Jyotsna Kamat

 

 

 

Kamat's Potpourri Jyotsna KamatAmma's Column

© 1996-2016 Kamat's Potpourri. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without prior permission. Standard disclaimers apply

Merchandise and Link Suggestions

Top of Page