Tuesday, January 5, 2010


While in Varkala, we also went to see a performance of Kathakali.

Kathakali is a traditional Keralan dance-drama, usually based on the Hindu epics. Drums and singing accompany the actors, who tell the story through a well codified hand gestures and facial expressions*.

The preparation for the performance is as interesting as the performance itself: the actors spend hours painting their faces (a piece of art themselves) to become the heroes and the demons of the plays…

We enjoyed this form of art that we didn’t know. And, once more, we were very impressed by the cultural diversity and richness of this country…

(*) Before the performance, one of the actors gave a short representation of the main facial expressions of Kathakali drama: love, humour, fear, pathos, anger, bravery, disgust, wonder, and peace. We capture some of them in this short video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYf05LMt4ec (sorry, I didn’t know how to rotate videos...)


  1. We were told that the REAL indian kathakaly could last 2-3 days... arghhhh... Luckily we had a very european syntesis of 3 hours (all inclusive!) ;)

  2. that's our "fast food" generation: a generation where you can buy 'slices' of pizza, single songs of an album, and attend a kathakali performance for only three hours...

  3. I am glad to see that you all survived!