Kerala is rich in many local art forms such as Kathakali, Mohiniyattam and Theyyam.
Kerala is rich in many local art forms such as Kathakali, Mohiniyattam and Theyyam. Kathakali when translated into Malayalam means 'a story told in the form of a dance'. Kathakali is the classical dance-drama of Kerala, which traces its origin to as early as the 17th century and is heavily inspired by Hindu mythology. In Kathakali, performers assume various roles picked from mythology and enact them on stage.
The technique of Kathakali includes a highly developed language of gesture and eye movements through which the artist conveys whole sentences and stories. The body movements and footwork are very rigorous. The costumes are elaborate and the facial make up exquisite, which would demand hours of painstaking effort by expert artists. Natural products are used for giving various hues and shades such as Indigo, Rice paste, Lime, Coconut oil etc. There are various Kathakali centres in Kerala, which host regular shows for the benefit of tourists. Kerala Kalamandalam at Cheruthuruthy near Palakkad is an eminent school, where Kathakali in its purest form is taught to many Indian and foreign students.
Mohiniyattam is a traditional dance form which was originally performed by the courtesans. It is an expression of the various kinds of love felt by a woman. This is a graceful dance form and relies heavily on the facial expressions and sensuous body movements.
Theyyam is a popular ritual dance where the dancer takes up the role of deity. In this artistic dance form metaphysical thoughts and expressions of immortal souls are impersonated to a believer through a mortal body.