Art Directory India

Kathakali: An Expression of Art


Kathakali? What exactly is it? It is a dance form typically found in Kerala! It is a way of expressing various stories which includes a vast variety of genres of art. It consists of use of various masks, and make-up to express the story successfully. Well, even though it’s roots might be unclear, what makes it so special is the essence it gives out during each play performed by the actors. These actors are trained professionals who with the help of an instructor showcase various talents.
Kathakali originally started near about during the 17th century. It was found to be written in the Sanskrit book named ‘Natya Shastra’. This Sanskrit book consisted of various art and dance forms eminent during that century. This word Kathakali comes from two specific words, namely, ‘Katha’ which means ‘story’ and ‘Kali’ means ‘dance’. So basically it’s a way of expression stories with the help of dance. There are 3 major drums used for the music involved in this dance form namely, ‘Itaykka’, ‘Centa’, ‘Maddalam’. The music plays a very important role in this form of dance and it also involves various voice forms to ensure the story is supplied in all its essence. It covers genres like romance seen in the famous play named, ‘Campa’, also other genres like heroic comic named ‘Atanta’.
This Kathakali also has given rise to various other forms of dance namely, ‘Kuttiyattam’ and ‘Kriushnanattam’. Getting a full view of this Kathakali is a must have experience!

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