Basics of Kathakali Dance

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Indian culture is stuffed with many activities. And each and every cultural activity is being judged by the global people. The much it gets appreciated by the global mass, the more important it becomes. And one of such enriched culture of India is its traditional dance form Kathakali.

Kathakali is globally recognized south India’s traditional dance form, which has been considered as the remarkable sign of Kerala city. During 17th Century this dance form got originated and imbibed by one after another. To perform this dance form, no particular kind of gender is needed. Men and women who find it worshipable can perform it.

Over the years, the Kathakali has got spread across India’s each and every state and influenced various types of race living in to love it and perform it. Now, be it is North-east India or West India/ North India or South India, every where this dance form is being performed even by child.

At the level of International Dance competition, this has been presented and appreciated world level’s juries. This dance is not so easy and not so difficult. Once one learns the basic steps and Mudras, he or she can design his or her body followed by exquisite expressions automatically. Thus, here is some basic Mudras of Kathakali dance Form made with single and both hands too-

  • 24 Hand gestures (Mudras) are there in total in the book of Hasthalakshana Deepika.”
  • The Asamyutha Mudras are to be made with single hand.
  • Samyutha Mudras are to be made with double hands.

Pathaaka (Flag), Mudraakhyam, Katakam (Golden Bangle), Mushti, Kartharee Mukham (Scissor's sharp point), Sukathundam (Parrot's peek), Kapidhakam (The fruit of a tree), HamsaPaksham (Swan's wing), Sikharam (Peak), Hamsaasyam (Swan's peek), Anjaly (Folded hands in Salutation), Ardhachandram (Half moon), Mukuram (Mirror), Bhramaram (Beetle), Soochimukham (Needle's sharp point), Pallavam (Sprout), hripathaaka (Flag with three colours), Mrigaseersham (Deer's head), Sarpasirassu (Serpant's head), Vardhamanakam (Seedling), Araalam (Curved), Oornanabham (Spider), Mukulam (Bud), Katakaamukham. These are all those hand gestures which have mentioned to be made with one hand.

And those which are to be made with double hands- Blouse, Servant, Hero, Wrestler, To shoot arrows and Arrest. The whole dance form is a combination various activities of eyes, vocal, body gestures, face expressions and all the inscribed hand gestures. In total complete performance- Literature, music, painting, acting and dance can be found. There is role of each of them.

Harmoniously these elements make an eye pleasing, attention grabbing dance form. The representation manner must be clear and very much comprehensive to the spectators, so that; the story can easily be picked up from the entire performance. Thus, by practice of such basic of Kathakali dance the world get mesmerized by Kerala’s culture.



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