During our recent Kerala tour, we made a programm to witness Kathakali. Accordingly the tour operator one evening, took us to a dance performance at Kathakali Centre, Kumily, Thakkady, Kerala.
Kathakali is one of the major forms of classical Indian dance. It is another “story play” genre of art, but one distinguished by its elaborately colorful make-up, costumes and face masks wearing actor-dancers, who have traditionally been all males. Kathakali primarily developed as a Hindu performance art in the southwestern region of India, Kerala.
Kathakali originated around the 17th century, but its roots are in temple and folk arts and religious drama of southwestern Indian peninsula. A Kathakali performance, like all classical dance arts of India, includes music, vocal performers, hand and facial gestures to express ideas, and footwork.Kathakali is also different in that the structure and details of its art developed in the courts and theatres of Hindu principalities, unlike other classical Indian dances which primarily developed in Hindu Temples.
The traditional themes of the Kathakali are folk mythologies, religious legends and spiritual ideas from the Hindu epics and the Puranas. The vocal performance has traditionally been Sanskritised Malayalam. In modern compositions, Indian Kathakali troupes have included women artists. Click here to enjoy the dance video