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Kathakali  
 
Kathakali
  Kathakali meaning " Story and Play" is traditional dance form of Kerala. It is very old dance form having its roots in Hindu Mythology in 17th century. It is a combination of Dance, literature, music and painting.

Kathakali has very attractive and unique costume and mask. The dancers wear elaborate masks while performing. Kathakali is very narrative and long. It is a combination of dance and drama which brings the myth and legend to life in the temple courtyards of Kerala.

The performers wear very beautiful and colorful costumes and accompanied by percussions, vocals and other instruments. The make-up they wear helps to bring various emotions. Kathakali is a graceful combination of five major arts namely literature, music, painting, acting and dance. All the five
 
forms of art have a very important role in this combination. Its literature is narrative, poetic and dramatic. Costumes are of vivid colours, facial makeup is done by the artist himself and a distinct headgear made of wood is worn during the play. The Aharya (Make-up) has many faces like Pacha, Kathi, Thadi, Minukku etc.

The colors used and the names depicts the nature of the character. The make-up is complicated, requiring several hours to apply. While playing the dancers do not speak but they communicate through the hand movements called mudras and unique facial expressions. Drummers provide a rhythmic background to the drama. Kathakali performances usually begin with a musical note called Thiranottam. The dance extravaganza last all through night to dawn.

There are 24 Basic Mudras (hand gestures) in the "Hasthalakshana Deepika", the book of hand gestures, which Kathakali follows. There are 'Asamyutha Mudras' (that is shown using single hand) and 'Samyutha Mudras' (mudras shown in double hands) in each Basic Mudras, to show different symbols. Considering all these Mudras and their separations there are totally 470 symbols used in Kathakali.
 
 
 
     
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Famous Kathakali Artists
Kalamandalam gopi
Krishna Prasad
Kesavan Namboodiri
Vasu Pisharody
Ramankutty Nair
Sivaraman
Kavungal Chathunni Panicker
 
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