Kathakali

Kathakali is an Indian classical dance-drama, originated in Kerala. Kathakali is one of the most famous performing arts of India and has popularity all over the world.
Kathakali originated from Ramanattam and Krishnanattam(Classical arts of Kerala) in 17th century and several folk, ritual and classical arts forms of Kerala have exerted influence in the development of Kathakali.
The speciality of Kathakali is, the Kathakali actor enacts different characters in Kathakali using stylised hand gusters, facial expressions and body movements accompanied with vocal and instrumental music. The make-up and elaborate costumes of Kathakali are unique and marvellous.
Traditional Kathakali stories are from the Hindu epics, Mahabharatham and Ramayanam. Recently stories from other cultures like story of Mary Magdalene from Bible, Homer's The Iliad and Shakespeare's King Lear have also been adapted into Kathakali scripts. Kathakali stories are written to play a whole night. But nowadays 2-4 hour lasting shorten versions are more popular.
Characters in Kathakali are categorized according to their nature. This decides the colours used in the make-up of the artist.
To attain the high flexibility and muscle control required for this art form, a Kathakali dancer undergoes a special course of training and special types of body massage.
Language used in Kathakali music is a mix of Sanskrit and Malayalam called Manipravalam. The Kathakali songs are composed in Carnatic Music. Percussion Instruments like Chenda, chengala, Idakka, Maddalam and ilathalam are used in Kathakali.
Kathakali is usually performed in front of Kalivilakku(lamp) and the traditional Thiraseela(curtain) is used during Kathakali play.








The pictures shown above are the "Vesham"s of one of my friends Mr. Muralidharan M.N(Kathakali artist) , P.S.V Natya sangham, Kottakkal, Kerala.
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