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Kathakali is a traditional dance-drama of Kerala, which has had its origin from the temples. It marks the culmination of the evolution of various ritualistic, religious, folk and classical dance-drama traditions of Kerala. It incorporates many dance forms of this region especially Kudiyattam, Theyyams, Mudiyattam and the martial arts of Kalaripayattu. The great poet Vallathol is credited with the resuscitating of Kathakali in the 1930s.

Kathakali is generally performed in open air on a stage covered with coarse mats. The only lighting used is a brass lamp. Continuous thundering of the drums, Chenda and Maddala precede the Mangalacharan, an invocation to the Gods and the main dance. This type of pure dance is called Thodayam. This dance is filled with abhinaya and the dancers dance to the themes from Ramayana, Mahabharata, the Puranas or the Vedas. The dancers enact every nuance and event and portray the subtlest passions to perfection. Kathakali draws heavily from drama and is danced with elaborate masks and costumes. The dancers adorn themselves in huge skirts and head- dresses, wearing a most intricate style of make-up. The dance, which begins in the night, concludes with the arrival of dawn. Kathakali has now gone global, with performances of The Ilead, Medea and other dramatic works, translated into chaste Sanskrit or Malayalam. The Kalamandalam is perhaps the best-known troupe of Kathakali performers.

Famous Exponents: Kalamandalam Murali, Kalamandalam Gopi, Guru Raghavan Nair, K.Shankaranarayan, Govindan Kutty, Revatti, K.Venkitt, K.Vasunni, Raman Kutty Nair and Padmanabhan.

||Introduction||  ||Classical dances|| Folk/Tribal Dances| |Modern Dances||Great Dancers & Choreographers|| 


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