Apr 222014


Bheema and Draupadi in Mahabharata: A Kathakali Performance

I have seen Kathakali a few times earlier, but to watch Kathakali in its birthplace is a very special moment for any body who loves performing arts.  So I had my chance when we were at Vivanta by Taj -Kovalam and they organized a show for the guests.  In this particular show the artists portray Bheem and Draupadi from a scene in Mahabharata.  Kathakali is all about expressions and the highly accomplished artists can depict every single emotion known to man by his eyes only.  I say his because almost all the performers in Kathakali are men, and they play both male and female leads in the show. Though things are changing and women are now joining the same, though all the performances that we watched men played every single character.

India Travel blog Kathakali

Bheema and Draupadi- Kathakali Performance

Kathakali is a very special art form and artists learn it from a tender age with a guru. The makeup itself can take 3-4 hours depending on the character.   Each color, ornament, accessory represent a particular theme, or characteristic of the person, e.g. Green is normally associated with the Hero of the play in this case Bheem, a key character from the epic Mahabharata.  Along with the actors, the vocals and music play an equally important role in Kathakali, the actors never actually speak anything, the story is informed to the audience before hand  and a singer carries it forward during the act.

I am working on more posts on Kathakali as part my Kerala Blog Express, that I attended on invitation of Kerala Tourism so if  if you have liked reading the post please feel free to subscribe by email and like it or share it with your friends on FacebookLinkedIntwitter and Google+ .

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  7 Responses to “Kathakali Playing Gods in God’s Own Country Travel Tuesday Picture”

Comments (7)
  1. Very interesting and so colorful.

  2. Hari OM
    This is a beautiful capture. I love kathakali; my Sanksrit acharya danced in this style and it is powerful and graceful in the extreme. I long to see it in its home territory…. one day! YAM xx

  3. Beeeutiful picture!!
    Don’t those colours make these artists look so attractive?!

    Did you get to watch them do the make up and the dressing up?

  4. Excellent details in the capture as always, glad that I got to learn more about this dance form, it’s just so expressive! I wish to see this ancient art form for real also someday.

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