Kathakali dance - A popular art form of Kerala


Kathakali is the most popular traditional art form which is originated from Kerala in 17th century and still running through the bloods of every keralites. Kathakali is one which brings great delight and self satisfaction for the viewers. Read this article to know more about the famous art form of Kerala - Kathakali.

About Kathakali

Kathakali - a popular art form of Kerala. Kathakali is the most popular traditional art form which is originated from Kerala in 17th century and still running through the bloods of every keralites. This art form require a great talent to perform and the actor has to convey the entire meaning of the story only through gestures and facial expressions. Many people across the globe gather within the state to see this visual retreat and are always satisfied with the way people in Kerala treat them. The major attractions of kathakali is their makeups, traditional costumes, perfect gestures shown to express their thoughts to their viewers. Over the years this art form has raised to a more desirable level with improved gestures, costumes, background songs and music.

Kerala which is considered to be 'the gods own country' is blessed with a bunch of art forms. Kathakali is one among them which brings great delight and self satisfaction. The main factor which separates kathakali from other art forms is that it uses the entire body while performance from head to toe. It is believed that a total of 101 stories do prevail for kathakali but now only few among them are performed in stages. Some of the stories which have great popularity among viewers include Dakshayagam, Balivadham, Uttaraswayamvaram, Balivijayam, Narakasuravadham, Kamsavadham, Kuchelavrittam, and much more.

Kathakali was traditionally performed in stages during night and last till morning. 'Manipravalam' is the language used for the songs onstage. But nowadays this performance has been trimmed to a shorter period. The actors in kathakali usually trains them upto 8 or 10 years in order to develop their skills, concentration and stamina to play for long period. Body movements, facial expressions which include the 'navarasams', basic gestures or mudras shown plays a major role in kathakali and actors concentrate on these to keep their audience to cheer out.

Kathakali was mainly a male dominant art form but from 1970's a large number of females have expressed some sincere dedication in this art form. It is also a major factor which opens up the flow of a bunch of tourist to Kerala. Tourists love to watch such traditional dance forms and study much about the culture of Kerala.

Kathakali was believed to be originated from a former dance form named 'Krishnanattam' by the zamorian of Calicut, 'Sri. Manavedan Raja'. Krishnanattom explain about the life and works of Lord Krishna. The raja of Kottarakkara was impressed with this dance form and thus decides to request the zamorian to provide him with loan for some performers. But the Raja failed to get one due to some political issues between them. Thus the raja of Kottarakkara set himself to invent a new art form called 'Aattakatha' which was performed in public with the name as Kathakali.


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