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    Posted May 8, 2014 by
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    Colors of Kathakali


    Kathakali is a world famous highly stylized Indian classical dance-drama. Several years of hard training is required to perform this art. The art is a skillful combination of literature, music, vocal, attractive costumes, make up, acting and dancing. Literature is mainly based on puranas and the great epics of India, the performance is usually accompanied by the South Indian percussion instrument like “Chende”, “Idukka” and “Mridangam”, the story is narrated and understood by the expressions, each character is identified by the costumes and facial make up.


    Today, numerous theatres and art performance centres are found in various places throughout Kerala. These theatres have arranged daily shows for the tourists presenting some memorable and joyful moments. The show employs a theme extracted from the epics and generally begins in the evening. Experiencing rich culture and varied traditions of Kerala is very delightful.


    Kathakali is an iconic traditional art which dates back to 17th century. The term “Katha” means story and “Kali” means play, so the name Kathakali. According to historical records, the art was originated during the reign of “Zamorins of Calicut”. Many artists contributed to take its present name. Noticeable changes were made to the original art from time to time by the skillful artists and performers. Hence, the present art form is more refined and improvised. Kathakali has many similarities to the other existing folk arts of Kerala.


    Kathakali artists make use of rigorous gestures called “mudras”, facial expressions and foot movements to convey the story. Earlier, it was performed only by men and the female characters are portrayed by men dressed in women’s costume. Nowadays, even women takes part in the play. Costumes are distinctive part of the art and they are of several kinds.


    Though, many wisemen argues that, the Kathakali is not a “classical dance” but a “traditional or folk”. However, it doesn’t matters for a traveler whether it is traditional or classical. At first, we too had a wrong opinion and not interested to spend our time; unexpectedly booked for a show, we enjoyed a lot . . and it really entertained us.


    I took this shot at Punarjani Traditional Village, Munnar, Kerala.

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