Telugu Traditions strives to be a living encyclopedia of Telugu culture and traditions documenting the past & current traditions and by passing on the legacy to the future generations.

Burrakatha : An Oral Story Telling Technique

Burrakatha : An art form that combines music, dance, and drama and is known for its use in preaching and propaganda. It is a variant of Jangam Katha and Sharada Katha, both of which are daughters of Yakshagana. Burrakatha is a combination of all nine rasas, with a particular focus on veera (heroic) and karuna (compassion) rasas.

Burrakatha & Performed By

The performance usually involves three members. The main storyteller stands in the middle, while the other two play the roles of a politician and a comedian. The main storyteller is responsible for singing songs, describing events, and providing commentary. The politician engages in serious discussions with the narrator and helps keep the audience interested and enthusiastic. The comedian’s role is to add humor to the performance, making it more enjoyable for the audience.

The stories told in Burrakatha can vary, from mythological and devotional tales to heroic and romantic stories. The narrator uses a tambura to accompany the singing, and the performance is often accompanied by instruments such as harmonium, dolu, kanjira, and tabla.

Burrakatha has been a popular art form in Andhra Pradesh, with many performers, including disciples of Eklavya, making it their livelihood. Some well-known Burrakatha stories include Nazar Palnati Yuddam (Nazar’s Battle) and Bobbili War. The art form continues to evolve, with women also taking up the role of storytellers in Burrakatha performances.

Burrakatha, with its combination of music, dance, and drama, has been an effective tool for preaching and propaganda. Its popularity can be attributed to its ability to captivate audiences and convey powerful messages through storytelling.

Burrakatha & Performance

The performance of Burrakatha often starts with an invocation to the deities, seeking their blessings and guidance. The main storyteller, dressed in colorful attire such as angarkha, turban, loincloth, pearl chain, and anklets, takes center stage. They are the focal point of the performance, using their expressive voice and gestures to engage the audience.

The stories told in Burrakatha cover a wide range of themes, including mythological tales, historical events, social issues, and moral lessons. The main storyteller weaves these narratives with emotional depth, using songs, dialogues, and vivid descriptions to create a rich and immersive experience for the listeners. The power of the performer lies in their ability to evoke various emotions, from joy and excitement to empathy and introspection.

The politician, positioned on the right side of the main storyteller, plays a crucial role in adding depth and context to the performance. They engage in discussions with the main narrator, raising thought-provoking questions, sharing insights, and providing commentary. This interaction adds layers of meaning to the narrative and helps the audience connect with the story on a deeper level.

On the other side of the main storyteller is the comedian, whose role is to provide comic relief and entertain the audience. They interject with humorous remarks, witty one-liners, and playful banter, bringing lightness and laughter to the performance. While their role is primarily comedic, they are mindful not to overshadow the main story and maintain its integrity.

Throughout the performance, the main storyteller, politician, and comedian maintain a seamless rhythm, collaborating and complementing each other’s contributions. The audience is drawn into the world of the story, carried away by the engaging narration, lively music, and energetic dance movements. The performers use their skills to transport the listeners to different settings, evoke vivid imagery, and convey profound messages.

Burrakatha continues to be cherished and celebrated in various regions of Andhra Pradesh, reflecting the rich cultural heritage of the state. Its dynamic nature, social relevance, and ability to entertain and educate have contributed to its enduring popularity as an art form that combines storytelling, music, and dance to engage and inspire audiences.

Also Read : Edit Post “Wooden hymns (Chekka bhajanalu)” ‹ Telugu Traditions — WordPress

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.