In the middle of the Queen of the Arabian Sea Kerala lies the old-established Kerala Kathakali Centre. The centre has preserved the classical dance form of Kathakali in its purest form. The mesmerising performances of Kathakali at the centre are a prefect blend of dance, music, and make-up.
The place presents one of the oldest theatre forms in the world Kathakali as an amalgam of literature, painting, dance, music, and acting. The apt depiction of a story—telling a ‘katha’—through signs and symbols is the USP of this dance form. Words fail to express the emotions as capably as executed by the gestures and facial expressions of the performers in the open-face drama at the centre. Usually, excerpts from the two epics of Hindu mythology, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, are illustrated. The arty costumes and the colourful, elegant makeup are an integral part of this traditional dance form.
Kathakali emphasises four abhinayas for spot-on reflection of the emotions. These are:
- Aharya, which refers to the costume and posture.
- Sattvika, which is the expression of thoughts by the efforts of the mind (Bhaava and Rasa).
- Vaacika, which means shrieking, singing, etc.
- Aangika, which means conveyance of ideas by body gestures.
The artistic performances held at the centre are broadcast by channels such as the National Geographic, the Discovery Channel and the BBC.
The centre holds at least three performances daily. It has also initiated efforts to encourage more young people to learn the classical forms of music, martial arts and dance. It provides short as well as long-term courses, charging a nominal amount.
Near Santa Cruz Bazilica
K.B. Jacob Road
Kerala – 682 001, India