Kathakhali dance and music

Kathakhali is one of the major forms of classical Indian dance. It plays out a story, but is distinguished by the elaborate costumes and colorful make-up. It developed as a Hindu performance in the Mayalam speaking region of Kerala, southwestern India.

Kathakali performance synthesizes music, choreography and hand (mudras) and facial gestures to express ideas, emotions and a story. Before the actual performance, the female dancer showed us the eye and hand movements, and also went through all the emotions and performed each one in an exaggerated way.

We watched the male performer apply his face mask (make-up) before the performance.

Photos of mannequins from the Kathakhali museum.

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