KATHAKALI DANCE

Here goes high culture after all: we did catch a Katakali show in Kochi on our last evening. The show no longer is where it used to be and stat an hour earlier than advertised so on our second try we actually did succeed.

Kathakali is a very refined South Indian art form in which the dancers execute dance moves to tell ancient mythological stories. The characters, different make ups and gestures and hand movements are highly specific and a result of several years or training. 

 

The place we went to is very modest. It is a small place on a narrow street well away from the upscale and touristy parts of town.

The place we went to is very modest. It is a small place on a narrow street well away from the upscale and touristy parts of town.

Here is a picture of the hall. Th show begins by the audience being able to watch the artists get into makeup, which takes almost an hour!  Lili and Dante are in front row on the right.

Here is a picture of the hall. Th show begins by the audience being able to watch the artists get into makeup, which takes almost an hour!  Lili and Dante are in front row on the right.

Both the dancers were men. The artist on the right is actually making himself up to be a woman. 

Both the dancers were men. The artist on the right is actually making himself up to be a woman. 

Imagine our surprise when we saw this on the wall: these were the very artists the Prince of Wales saw in his recent trip to India! How great is that?? 

Imagine our surprise when we saw this on the wall: these were the very artists the Prince of Wales saw in his recent trip to India! How great is that?? 

And here they are - in full action. It was very special to see how this performance, and especially rewarding as the artists spent a long time demonstrating and explaining how the gestures and actions work before the 'actual' piece started.  

And here they are - in full action. It was very special to see how this performance, and especially rewarding as the artists spent a long time demonstrating and explaining how the gestures and actions work before the 'actual' piece started.