Classical South Indian
Dance Form - Kathakali, Kerala, India
impacting Dance Form from India - Kathakali - Story + Play
What is Kathakali? Kathakali
is a traditional Indian dance form of Kerala, in India. Owing
to its signature style of dance and drama, Kathakali is also
recognised as one of the oldest and most awe-inspiring forms
of theatre, all across the world.
Kathakali dance is
deeply routed in Hindu mythology. This is why, Kathakali dancers
/ actors usually depict characters from the Ramayan and the
Mahabharata. During their performance, stories from these
mythological epics are sung while the Kathakali dancers act
out the stories. Hence, Kathakali dance is a beautiful amalgamation
of pure dance and abhinaya. There was a time when Kathakali
dance was performed by men only. However, with time, things
changed. Today, this dance form is performed by both, men
and women. Kathakali performances generally last for a number
of hours and are considered to be quite long.
Elements of Kathakali Dance & Performance & Dance
Among all the traditional Indian dance forms, Kathakali is
considered to be one of the most visually impacting - a
beautiful and enthralling mix of story and play.
- Kathakali dancers have their
own unique style which is larger-than-life &
extremely eye catching.
- Dancers make use of a large
number of intricate facial expressions, eye movements
and interesting hand gestures during their performances
to depict different emotions. It is interesting to note
how Kathakali dancers enact and depict so many emotions
and stories without saying a word.
- Kathakali dancers can be easily
recognised with their signature costumes and makeup,
especially their eye makeup. The main aspects of the makeup
includes painted faces, elongated eyes and eye brows as
well as bright red and prominent lips. The 5 main types
of make-up or faces include Kari, Pacha, Kathi, Thadi, &
- Musical Instruments
such as the Chenda, Maddala, Cymbals
provide accompanying music.
Dance Costume -
Kathakali dancers wear beautiful,
bright colored and dramatic clothes which are stitched to
large head gear / crown is made of wood and is one of the
defining features of a Kathakali dancer.
the clothes, Kathakali dancers also wear beautiful and
elaborate ornaments on their arms, hands, neck, ears and
of the well known masters of Kathakali Dance include
- Vasu Pisharody
- Krishna Prasad
are Invited Are you a Kathakali
Dancer? To add greater value to this page, we invite you
to contribute your picture in your traditional Kathakali dance costume
for inclusion on this webpage. We'll surely add your name under
the picture as a token of thanks (Courtesy:) Email us at
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