By Rajish Ramankutty Nair

Kathakali is a traditional classical dance drama of India, which is highly explicit, passionate, dynamic, and colourful.

Kathakali, literally means, "story play", but this art is much more. It has been called a dance drama, a ballet, a theatrical art, an opera, a pantomime, a miracle play, a masked play, and so on.

Chutti Kuthal & Theppu

The first stage where the artist applies the basic facial paintings.



Kathakali characters are symbolic and classified primarily into six distinct types - Pacha. Kathi. Thadi. Kari. Minukku. 


Mudras (language)

Kathakali mudras are called Adisthana Mudrakal from Hasthalakshana Deepika. There are 24 mudras in Kathakali. In Kathakali, the enactment is of two types: Cholliyattam and Ilakiyattam.




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