Kathakali is the traditional and ancient dance form of Indian state of Kerala. The word Kathakali meaning story-play is widely acknowledged all over the world. Kathakali basically includes elaborated background with bright make-ups and costumers. You can find its roots back in 17th century in Hindu mythology. Kathakali has the amalgamation of music, painting, literature, dance and acting, which make it even more interesting. It is mainly based on different religious themes, especially on the two epics, namely, Mahabharata and Ramayana.
The local people of Kerala believe that this unique dance form has been emerged from “Krishananattam”. It is basically the dance drama on the activities and life of Lord Krishna. Krishananattam was created by the Zamorin of Calicut. It was believed that Kottarakkara Thampura, the Raja of Kottarakkara was once influenced by Krishnanaattam and requested Zamorin for the loan of a troupe of performers. But Zamorin did not allowed this due to the political rivalry between the two. Therefore, the raja of Kottarakkara formed another art form, which came to be known as Ramanattam. But it later got transformed into Aattakatha. While Krishanaattam was written in Sanskrit, Raamanaattam was developed in Malayalam. In the end of 17th century, Attakatha was presented in front of the world with the name “Kathakali”.
Kathakali is considered to have a combination of five different forms of fine art, namely, Natyam (Acting or Expressions), Nritham (Dance), Nrithyam (Enactment), Sangeetham (Music) and Vadyam (Instrument accompaniment). It has more than 101 stories, out of which, many of them were composed for the whole night. With the rising popularity of Kathakali, its plays are now composed for not more than 2-4 hours. It works perfect for the person, who want to have an idea of story being played in Kathakali play.
There are many Kathakali centers located here. Each Kerala Kathakali centre puts in its heart and soul to get the art perfect! Some of the most popular centers include Kerala Kalamandalam, P.S.V. Natyasangham, Unnayivarrier Smaraka Kalanilayam, Art Kerala, Cochin Cultural Centre and Gandhi Seva Sadanam Kerala Kathakali centre.
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