Katha Kali-an over view

Kathakali: the Classical Dance of God's Own Country

Kathakali, literally means `story-play', is a dance-drama originated in the 17th century in Kerala, one of the smallest and most beautiful states in India lying on the west coast of the Indian peninsula. It was given its present form by Mahakavi Vallathol Narayan Menon, who was the founder of the Kerala Kala Mandalam. Elements of music, dance , painting, poetry and drama beautyfuly blended in a unique way to make this art form stand out amongst other classical dance forms. Kathakali has evolved from classical dance forms such as Koodiyattam and also imbibed elements of several folk art forms that existed in Kerala. The many aspects of traditional rituals and ceremonies that Kathakali picked up on its evolutionary course from various folk arts, has since then become its integral part. Kathakali is known for its large, elaborate makeup and costumes. Characters with vividly painted faces and elaborate costumes re-enact stories from the Hindu epics, Mahabharata and Ramayana. The elaborate costumes of Kathakali have become the most recognised icon for Kerala