KATHAKALI IS A FAMOUS ‘STORY-PLAY’ OF KERALA
28 September, 2018
Kathakali is a famous ‘Story-Play’. It is a group performance, in which dancers take various roles in performances traditionally based on themes from Hindu mythology. Kathakali is one of the oldest theater forms in the world. It is originated in the country’s present day state of Kerala during the 17th century accompanied by percussion. The themes of the Kathakali are religious in nature.
A Kathakali performance is a major social event. They generally start at dusk and go through out the night. Kathakali is usually performed only by men. Female characters are portrayed by men dressed in women’s costume. However, in recent years, women have started to become Kathakali dancers.
With complete control of each individual facial muscle, a feat requiring at least 10 years tutor age, the performers produce nine facial expressions known as Nine Tastes or Navarasas. These cover everything from anger (knitted brow) and fear (eyes on stalks) to love (batted eyelashes) and disgust (wrinkled nose).
However it can be distinguished from the others through the intricate and vivid make-up, unique face masks and costumes worn by dancers as also from their style and movements that reflect the age-old martial arts and athletic conventions prevalent in Kerala and surrounding regions.