Kathakali

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Information about Kathakali

Published on August 10, 2008

Author: thankachan.vp

Source: slideshare.net

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KATHAKALI The classical dance-drama of Kerala KATHAKALI MUSIC IMAGES www.cyberkerala.com

 

 

 

 

 

KATHAKALI Kathakali is the classical dance-drama of Kerala, South India, which dates from the 17th century and is rooted in Hindu mythology. Kathakali has a unique combination of literature, music, painting, acting and dance. In the following pages we have placed photographs and videos of Kathakali performances and songs by famous Kathakali singers

Kathakali is the classical dance-drama of Kerala, South India, which dates from the 17th century and is rooted in Hindu mythology. Kathakali has a unique combination of literature, music, painting, acting and dance. In the following pages we have placed photographs and videos of Kathakali performances and songs by famous Kathakali singers

 

Costumes: The headgear worn by the various characters in Kathakali are excellent specimen of intricate wood carving, an ancient specialty of the region. Even the shiny finishing with trinkets take hours of painstaking labour by expert craftsmen. Most of the ornaments donning each character are made in this fashion too.

The headgear worn by the various characters in Kathakali are excellent specimen of intricate wood carving, an ancient specialty of the region. Even the shiny finishing with trinkets take hours of painstaking labour by expert craftsmen. Most of the ornaments donning each character are made in this fashion too.

 

Make-up: The make-up, called Chutty in the bibliography of Kathakali, is also an art form in itself. The colourful faces are the results of hours of painstaking handiwork by expert artists. Their work is, by no means subordinate to portrait painting. The basic materials used for the make up are very crude items like raw amorphous Sulphur, Indigo, Rice paste, Lime, Coconut oil etc.

The make-up, called Chutty in the bibliography of Kathakali, is also an art form in itself. The colourful faces are the results of hours of painstaking handiwork by expert artists. Their work is, by no means subordinate to portrait painting. The basic materials used for the make up are very crude items like raw amorphous Sulphur, Indigo, Rice paste, Lime, Coconut oil etc.

 

 

Dance Although dance is an important element in Kathakali, it is not the main feature. Pure dance sequences are limited to Kalasams, which punctuate acting segments. Female characters spontaneously breaking into "Sari" and "Kummi" dances can be seen in few dramas. The accent in Kathakali is more on the Thandava style of dancing than on Lasya style. Hence the movements are often explosive. Delicate movements are rare .

Although dance is an important element in Kathakali, it is not the main feature. Pure dance sequences are limited to Kalasams, which punctuate acting segments. Female characters spontaneously breaking into "Sari" and "Kummi" dances can be seen in few dramas. The accent in Kathakali is more on the Thandava style of dancing than on Lasya style. Hence the movements are often explosive. Delicate movements are rare .

 

 

MUDRAS There are 24 Basic Mudras (hand gestures) in the "Hasthalakshana Deepika", the book of hand gestures, which Kathakali is followed. There are 'Asamyutha Mudras' (that is shown using single hand) and 'Samyutha Mudras' (mudras shown in double hands) in each Basic Mudras, to show different symbols. Considering all these Mudras and their seperations there are totally 470 symbols used in Kathakali. (The details of each Mudra are given down)

There are 24 Basic Mudras (hand gestures) in the "Hasthalakshana Deepika", the book of hand gestures, which Kathakali is followed. There are 'Asamyutha Mudras' (that is shown using single hand) and 'Samyutha Mudras' (mudras shown in double hands) in each Basic Mudras, to show different symbols. Considering all these Mudras and their seperations there are totally 470 symbols used in Kathakali. (The details of each Mudra are given down)

 

Flag (Golden Bangle) (Parrot's peek) (The fruit of a tree) Swan's wing) (Deer's head) (Needle's sharp point (Beetle) (Sprout) (Serpant's head) Deer's head) (Scissor's sharp point)

 

 

 

Acting A Kathakali actor uses immense concentration, skill and physical stamina, gained from training based on Kalaripayattu , the ancient martial art of Kerala, to prepare for his demanding role. Training can often last for 8-10 years. The training programme is intensive. In Kathakali, the story is enacted purely by the movements of the hands (called mudras or hand gestures) and by facial expressions (rasas) and bodily movements.

A Kathakali actor uses immense concentration, skill and physical stamina, gained from training based on Kalaripayattu , the ancient martial art of Kerala, to prepare for his demanding role. Training can often last for 8-10 years. The training programme is intensive. In Kathakali, the story is enacted purely by the movements of the hands (called mudras or hand gestures) and by facial expressions (rasas) and bodily movements.

 

The expressions are derived from Natyasatra (the science of expressions) and are classified into nine as in most Indian classical art forms. Dancers also undergo special practice sessions to learn control of their eye movements.

The expressions are derived from Natyasatra (the science of expressions) and are classified into nine as in most Indian classical art forms. Dancers also undergo special practice sessions to learn control of their eye movements.

 

 

 

The main facial expressions of a Kathakali artist are the 'navarasams' ( 'Navarasas' in anglicised form )(literal translation: Nine Tastes, but more loosely translated as nine feelings or expressions) which are Sringaaram (amour), Haasyam (ridicule, humour), Bhayam (fear), Karunam (pathos), Rowdram (anger, wrath), Veeram (valour), Beebhatsam (disgust), Adbhutham (wonder, amazement), Saantham (tranquility, peace). The link at the end of the page gives more details on Navarasas.

The main facial expressions of a Kathakali artist are the 'navarasams' ( 'Navarasas' in anglicised form )(literal translation: Nine Tastes, but more loosely translated as nine feelings or expressions) which are Sringaaram (amour), Haasyam (ridicule, humour), Bhayam (fear), Karunam (pathos), Rowdram (anger, wrath), Veeram (valour), Beebhatsam (disgust), Adbhutham (wonder, amazement), Saantham (tranquility, peace). The link at the end of the page gives more details on Navarasas.

A rare collection of Navarasas (facial expressions of nine different moods) by renowned Kathakali actor Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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