Subramanya Dhareshwara is arguably the greatest name in today's Yakshagana 'Bhagavatike' . From the last 20 years only two bhagavatas are considered the 'Best' in this field, other being G.R. Kalinga Navada who was called as ' 'Yuga Pravartaka'. Unfortunately Kalinga Navada died in a road accident at an young age. Dhareshwara learnt 'Bhagavatike' from Sri Naranappa Uppoor who was one of the greatest 'bhagavata' of last century. His style is called 'Marvi Thittu' and now one can see this style continued in Dhareshwara. Naranappa Uppur was famous for his 'Ragas' and 'Layagarike'. As his son Sridhar Uppur says in one of his books, this 'Layagarike' is continued now in Dhareshwara.
But Dhareshwara never blindly followed his guru. With inputs from veteran artists he is exploring the different possibilities and exposes it on the 'Rangasthala'. If one has to understand the diiference between 'kundapara tittu', 'badagu tittu', 'Haradi Mattu', 'Karki Mattu', one has to attend Dhareshwara's seminars on 'bhagavatike'. Currently Dhareshwara is the main 'bhagavata' of Sri Perdoor Mela and he is leading this mela from last 15 years.
When Dhareshwara started his career as Bhagavata, it was Shri. Chittani Ramachandra Hegade who played the role of 'God Father'. Probably it is because of Chittani Dhareshwara's bhagavatike flowered to perfection.Now it is a wonderful experience for the audience to watch both these legends performing together. Also Dhareshwara has the supporing hands of Sri Durgappa Gudigar, who is one of the best 'Maddalegara' of present yakshagana.
Now what is so special about Dhareshwara? The anwser to this question is not easy as Dhareshwara has many specialities.
At present he uses, maximum variety of ragas on the stage. This includes the traditional yakshagana ragas as well as new innovations. To name a few, Mohana, Hindhola, Madhyamavati,Kanada,Peelu,Suruti,Maulakams, Durga, Jokams,Sohani, Shankarabharana,Todi,Saveri,Madhumadhavi,Ghantarava,Huseni,Mohanakalyani,Revathi, Bhairavi,Pahadi,Tilan,HariKambhoji,NatiKuranji,Brindavana Saranga, Kalyani ...the list is noway complete! The optimum blend of 'Parampare' and 'Prayoga' is what makes Dhareshwara so special. Because of this, his Bhagavathike is never monotonous. This differentiates him from the rest. As everyone knows, just Bhagavathike is not singing melodiously. The control over Rangasthala is as important as having control over 'Raga', 'Tala' and 'Laya' for becoming a successful Bhagavatha. Dhareshwara excels in all these..
Dhareshwara's extraordinary voice needs special mention, which continues to ring in the mind with melody and clarity, whether heard from near or far or any angle. His pronnouciation of lyrics with clear diction, stricy adherence to shruti and laya, abundance creativity and spontaneity has made him the frontline bhagavata of today's yakshagana. Probably Dhareshwara is the first "bhagavata' who tried to use the voice in an optimum way. People who are unfamiliar with yakshagana have a misconception in their mind that yakshagana has only 'Veera Rasa', whereas actually it has 'nava rasas' in it. The traditional style of yakshagana bhagavatige ignored this fact and most of the bhagavatas sing in high pitch irrespective of the 'bhava' or 'rasa' to be exposed. In the earlier days of yakshagana there was no sound system and during that time there was a necessity to sing in the high pitch.
'Yakshagana Bhagavatike' is different from carnatic music. Though there are different opinions it is true that carnatic music has its influence on yakshagana bhagavatike. But it is not true that one who has been trained very well in carnatic music can become a best bhagavata as the pulse of yakshagana is totally different. One can see the influence of hindustani music on Dhareshwara's bhagavatike. Probably he is the first bhagavata to 'adopt' hindustani 'ragas' to yakshagana. It is a very notable feature of Dhareshwara's bhagavatike and may be a subject for study.
One can find maximum number of Yakshagana cassettes of Dhareshawara. Dhareshwara tops the list
in the number of cassettes released so far.
Dhareshwara is not 'branded' to any one prasanga like some of todays Bhagavathas. He has the ability to perform in any prasanga with only few 'rasas', though he can mesmericise the audience in prasangas with 'Nava rasas'.
Dhareshwara directs new 'Pauranika' prasangas. 'Radheya' and 'Chaladanka Chakreshwara' compiled and directed by him are well received by audience. This year 'Chaladanka Chakreshwara' show had highest box office collection at Kunadapur.
Dhareshwara's commitment to the art and the boundless energy is undimmed over passing years. He is still exploring the different possibilities in 'yakshagana Bhagavatike'. One has to see atleast five different yakshagana prasangas to appreciate Dhareshwara's speciality. In fact this is true for any artist. This website wishes the very best to Dhareshwara in his career as well as personal life.
Stay tuned to read more about Dhareshwara in this web page....