The Creative Way Of Storytelling
"To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful."
: Agnes De Mille
Kathakali, one of the most famous classical dances of India originated in south Indian state, Kerala. This dance is as wonderful as the state itself. The mere mention of Kathakali conjures up images of beautifully painted faces and graceful dresses. But there is much more to this wonderful dance and that is 'drama'. Drama is an integral part of it through which the dancers tell stories from the great Hindu Epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata. The term Katha means story and Kali means play. The history of this dance form dates back to the 16th century. The state has several centers where this dance form is taught.
Earlier Kathakali dance used to be performed in the temples and palaces but now it is performed on several occasions at different venues. Deserving a lot of appreciation, the Kathakali dancers truly set the stage on fire with their performances. They take training for years to learn this fascinating dance. Through the hand gestures,facial expressions, eye movements and bodily movements, the performers depict stories involving different kinds of human emotions.
The elaborate makeup of the dancers is simply striking. It takes them hours to put on such a makeup. Even the colors used for makeup speak about the character the dancer is going to play. The heroes paint their faces green, the villains red or black, while the holy men and women have their faces painted in yellow. Just like their makeup, the jewelery is equally beautiful.
If you get a chance to see this graceful dance form, don't miss it. And it would be great if you acquaint yourself with the story of the dance before watching it, as it will help you understand and enjoy the dance to its fullest. As this dance drama unfolds before you, you are bound to get transported to the world of rapture.