Dance Drama has been an integral part of Indian Culture and Kathakali is one such dance form. As a folk dance form, Kathakali has its roots in rural Kerala and the Kerala Kathakali Centre has been set up to popularize this dance form.
Deeply rooted in the Indian Mythology, Kathakali combines literature, acting, music, painting and dance. Kalamandalam in Kerala is one such organization that has devoted itself to the enrichment of the Indian Culture.
Eminent artists, who have attained glory, have collaborated together and facilitated the formation of the Kerala Kathakali Centre. Famous Cultural personalities like Pattikkamthodi Racunni Menon, Guru Kunchukkurup and Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair have been associated with the institution at different times.
The Fort Cochin Kathakali Centre, located at the Cochin Aquatic Club on River Road, is one of the most reputed cultural centres. There are regular cultural performances that span the whole night and end at early dawn. Stories enacted from the epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata invigorates the artistically inclined.
The elaborate mask and make-up of the Kathakali dancers are things to marvel at. The characters that the dancers perform come to life on stage or the temple courtyards. Generally the Kings have a bright green or blue face and women have a yellow face.
The faces of dancer portraying evil characters are painted red to indicate their foul nature. The tribal population or characters from the lower rung of society are indicated by black faced masks.
The Kathakali Centre in Fort Cochin imparts in younger hearts a love for traditional India. Enacting roles from the epics makes them aware of our rich literary heritage, and throws light on the ancient Indian customs.
The rigorous training period is rewarded by a chance for every trainee to perform live on stage. This is an experience that every student eagerly waits for.
In Kathakali, two singers accompany the dancers vocally, and numerous instruments like Percussion Instruments, Cymbals and Drums provide accompaniment to keep the rhythm or Taala.
Indicating the victory of good over evil, the traditional Kathakali dance beings in the evening and continues nightlong. Men are supposed to stress on the theme of the termination of evil in the dance drama. Gaining insight from the Kathakali, they can imbibe these lessons to their daily lives.
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