Routing: Cochin – Munnar – Thekkady – Alleppey – Cochin
(04 Nights and 05 Days)
Routing: Cochin – Munnar – Thekkady – Kumarakom – Houseboat – Kovalam
(08 Nights and 09 Days)
Routing: Trivandrum – Vayalar – Thekkady – Munnar – Cochin
(08 Nights/09 Days)
Routing: Thiruvananthapuram – Kovalam – Alleppey (Houseboat) – Kumarakom – Munnar – Thekkady – Cochin
(10 Nights and 11 Days)
Kathakali is world renowned dance form originated from the land of Kerala. In the recent years it has successfully managed to attract thousands of international followers or appraisers that have given a new paradigm of recognition to this dance form which is an integral part of Indian tradition and culture especially south-west part of India i.e. Kerala and nearby regions. Kathakali means a dance form that revolves around a specific story that could be mythological story taken from the holy books of Ramayana or Mahabharata or Purana etc. or any other folktale etc. but the aspect that differs it from other conventional or traditional dance forms is a unique story telling form. The word ‘Katha’ itself means story and Kali means performance in the local language. It is an old dance form initiated somewhere around 17th century in Kerala and nearby areas, with eye catching attires of the Kathakali artist or dancer including heavy colourful makeup, detailed traditional costume, highly synchronized dance moves involving facial expressions and full body movement in a specific pattern. In Kathakali music plays an important role in carrying forward the storyline, various low high pitches of background tune to depict different parts of the story like happiness, sadness, war, love etc. important aspect is that the actors never speaks or say dialogues everything is conveyed without uttering a single word which is really amazing. Kathakali sometimes complimented with separate percussions to create a larger than life impact on the viewers. Drums like Chenda and Maddalam are used on the traditional musical form ‘Sopanam’ to create the magical and mesmerizing effect upon the viewers.
Traditionally it is performed by men only who play various characters of Men, Women, God, Goddesses, Evil, and Demigods etc. These actors perform with the group of other artist including musicians including the main musician and singer who carry forward the whole act sequentially. As this dance form is associated with the movement of body especially hands and facial expressions better known as Dance Mudras so it takes years of hard work and complete dedication to evolve oneself into a professional Kathakali dancer. Enormous physical and mental stamina is required to reach that stage hence the dancers follow a strict exercise and diet regime also these dancers also follow Kerala local martial art kalaripayattu to gain maximum flexibility and control over muscles. As most of the stories do include instances from ancient or mythological wars so this training in martial arts help the dancers to get the right fighting poses and stances. Traditionally there is a set of 24 main Mudras in Kathakali dance also the characters are differentiated on the basis of colour schemes they are carrying. The main or heroic character carry soothing shades and the evil or villain character carries bright shades of red, deep green, orange etc. The eyeballs and eyebrows movements are well coordinated in order to get an impressive expression. It is always advisable to experience the live performance of Kathakali whenever you visit the magical land of Kerala or better known as ‘God’s Own Country’, these performances are a regular in various cultural events. Apart from it one can coordinate the bookings of the theatre which regularly exhibits various plays depicting the Kathakali dance form.
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