Dances of India: Kathkali

KathakaliKerala presents to the country one of the most imposing and colourful spectacles of dance - Kathakali. It is heroic, majestic and epic in character.

Though this form of art is not more the 300 years old, the actual roots can be traced to 1500 years earlier.

It symbolizes the blending of the Aryan and Dravidian cultures and is presumed to be evolved out of the various ancient theatre traditions of the region like Krishnattam, Ramanattam Koodiyattam, Mudayyetu and Teyyam.

Mahakavi Vallathol of Cherutoorthi (Palghat) contributed greatly in the evival of this art by forming Kalamandalam, the famous teaching institution, set up in the thirties.

The domain of Kathakali is peopled by superhuman, gods, demons and animals. So the costume and make-up is also elaborate and colourful.

KathakaliGreen is for heroic characters, black for evil and bearded countenance depicts Hanuman and Bheema. Being a very exacting art it demands streneous and long training for body and facial movements alongwith body massage and diet control.

Mostly based on mythology and the themes of Ramayana and Mahabharata, a Kathakali performance opens with the thunder of drums which invites the audiences.

The performance lasts night long and only men perform Kathakali. As a form of art. Kathakali is a sophisticated, spectacle of the supernatural.

Classical Dances » Bharatnatyam . Kuchipudi . Mohniattam . Kathkali . Odissi . Manipuri . Kathak . Chhau

Classical Music » Hindustani Classic Vocal Music . Carnatic Vocal Music
Sitar . Sarod . Santoor . Sarangi . Shehnai . Violin . Nagaswaram. Flute . Veena . Ghatam . Tabla