Kathakali is one of the oldest theatre forms in the world. It originated in the areaof southwestern India now known as the state of Kerala. Kathakali is a group presentation, in which dancers take various roles in performances traditionally based on themes from Hindu mythology, especially the two epics, the Ramayana and theMahabharata.One of the most interesting aspects of Kathakali is its elaborate make-up code. Characters are categorized according to their nature. This determines the colours used in the make-up. The faces of noble male characters, such as virtuous kings, the divine hero Rama, etc., are predominantly green. Characters of high birth who have an evil streak, such as the demon king Ravana, are allotted a similar green make-up, slashed with red marks on the cheeks. Extremely angry or excessively evil characters wear predominantly red make-up and a flowing red beard. Forest dwellers such as hunters are represented with a predominantly black make-up base. Women and ascetics have lustrous, yellowish faces.
The technique of Kathakali includes a highly developed language of gesture, through which the artist can convey whole sentences and stories. The body movements and footwork are very rigourous. To attain the high degree of flexibility and muscle control required for this art, a Kathakali dancer undergoes a strenuous course of training, and special periods of body massage.The dancers wear large head dresses, and the contours of the face are extended with moulded lime. The extraordinary costumes and make-up serve to raise the participants above the level of mere mortals, so that they may transport the audience to a world of wonders. The orchestra of a Kathakali performance includes two drums known as the chenda and the maddalam, along with cymbals and another percussion instrument, the ela taalam. Normally, two singers provide the vocal accompaniment. The style of singing particular to Kathakali is called Sopaanam. The orchestra of a Kathakali troupe is unique and provides not only the background to the dancing, but also serves as a highly expressive special effects team. In the traditional village ambiance, the percussionists also provide publicity for the event by playing outside the venue for some hours before the start of the show.A traditional Kathakali performance begins in the evening and continues throughout the night, culminating at the auspicious hour of dawn, when Good finally conquers Evil. Today, however, it has been modified for the proscenium stage, and urban audiences can participate in this ritualistic theatre experience in the comfort of a plush auditorium, within the span of a couple of hours.
kalari payattu show thekkadykalari payattu show thekkady Kalaripayattu-the oldest of martial arts-is a gift to the modern world and known as the mother of all martial arts. legend traces the 3000-year old art form to sage Parasurama-the master of all martial art forms and credited to be the re-claimer of Kerala from the arabian sea. Kalaripayattu originated in ancient south India. Kung-fu, popularized by the monks of the shaoline temple traces its ancestry to Bodhi Dharma-an Indian Buddhist monk and Kalaripayattu master.Legend: Shiva the Great Yogi who dwell on Mount Kailasa in the high Himalayas, deep in the dhyana meditation,was said to have taught Parasurama the art of Kalaripayattu. Parasurama taught his 21 desciples (all Brahmins themselves) the art of Kalari payat.it was created by the warrior saint parasurama,an incarnation of lord Vishnu,by throwing his axe into sea which receded till the point where it fell.Parasurama then established forty two kalari and taught twenty one masters of these kalaris to protect the land he created.
Training: the holistic approach is aimed at the ultimate co-ordination and control over mind and body.the weapons become an extension of the boady,controlled by the mind to achive high degree of protection in both offensive and defensive combats.the inherent beauty of this art from lies in the harmonious synergy of art,science and medicine Training: the holistic approach is aimed at the ultimate co-ordination and control over mind and body.the weapons become an extension of the boady,controlled by the mind to achive high degree of protection in both offensive and defensive combats.the inherent beauty of this art from lies in the harmonious synergy of art,science and medicine.The grand training schedule demanding dedication,decipline and devotion is stratified into different levels. Basic Level includes unarmed techniques through which the aspirant achieves mastery over his body movements and balance .Intermediate level,the student is trained to attain the agility ,flexibility ,and co-ordination of body movements .Advanced level involves training with weapons ,Instructor Level involves proficiency in the usage of sword and shield ,spear and lastly urumi or the spring sword.
Traditionally the kalari is constructed by digging a hollow in the ground forming a sunken area four feet in depth, forty two feet in length and twenty one feet in breadth .this is usually called Kuzhikalari.Kuzhi means”portions formed by caving in the earth” in the Malayalam Language . At Kadathanadan Kalari Centre ,Thekkady,this martial art is performed in kuzhikalari.Ahighly designed gallery has been built in such a way that the viewers will get a clear vision from a safer distance. Kalaripayattu is a traditional psycho-physiological discipline emanating from Kerala’s uniqe mytho-historical heritage as well as a scientific system of physical culture training.