Saturday, February 1, 2014

Kathakali Performance

A week ago, I saw a Kathakali performance at the palace next door.  There was a 6-day festival of dance and music and theatre.  We were only in town for the last two, but they were incredible.  Kathakali, which means 'story-dance' is an art form indigenous to the state of Kerala, and one for which it is famous.  It is a feast for the senses, with clanging cymbals and drums accompanying the gestures, eye movements, and multiple facial expressions of the Kathakali master/dancer.  Check out this website for a more detailed description:

If you've seen Japan's Kabuki theatre, this will ring a bell, or many elements of Chinese opera.
The story I saw was a gory one about one POOTHANA, a demoness who killed babies by suckling them with breasts smeared with poison.  Great idea for a plot, isn't it?  Anyway she meets her match when the god Krishna in the form of the baby, who sucks out her life blood.  In the end, the demoness dies, so everyone, almost, is happy in the end.  Have a look at a few of the photos I took during the play, which will show you the incredible talent of the artist, and show you a little of splendor of Kathakali.


  1. I loved the dancer's postures and facial expressions. What a treat to see! I also loved the looks of the crab roast!

  2. So wonderful... good thing you returned for those last 2 days. :)