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Malabar Dance Forms

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Kathakali literally meaning "story dance" is the pantomimic  dance drama,the dancing and the acting being blended together into an inseparable form.It is a combination of facial expressions and body movements which brings out the thought and emotion of the character.

Kathakali  is predominantly a male art and the dancing is mostly of the masculine type.The position taken by the actor is angular.He never stands erect while acting,his knees being spread out and his legs forming a rhombus,his hands bent at the elbow and his palms on his hips.The outer feet are never flat on the ground and still the actor maintains a perfect balance.The female character is lasya which is gentle and grateful.This is particularly evident in love scenes

The traditional performance begin at 8 pm and goes until dawn the following morning.It is preceded at sunset by the Kelikottu which is the playing of drums,Gong and cymbals to inform the local people about the performance.Now a days performances are given in halls with footlight and microphones etc. which will not last more than 3 to 4 Hrs.


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