Traditional Kerala Kathakali Dance Performance

Up at four am with nothing to do? What else is there but blogging about India. I have been slow on posting due to various reasons, but have been asked kindly by Dutch to pick up the pace, so I guess this is the perfect opportunity.

Our first evening in Munnar, our driver suggested that we stop off at the side of the road and go in to the Punarjani Traditional Village to get tickets. Well, this is a perfect example of how Cody and I travel… with little plans, following the advice of the locals. The traditional dance performance and the traditional martial arts performance both cost 200 INR or about 4 USD a piece. So we bought tickets for both of the evening shows and headed back up the hill to our hotel.

Wiki-Travel explains Kathakali as “Kerala’s celebrated classical ballad with use of large costumes and elaborate make-up. It is a dance drama, noted for wide range of characters, each character with special kind of costumes and make-up with special movements, particularly extensive expressions, refined gestures and innovative themes. The dance is accompanied with anchor playback music and precise drumming. The Kathakali Music is unique as it varies in accordance to expressions and reactions. Whilst traditional Indian epics constitute the main story-boards for the dance drama, many international versions like Shakespearian-Homer-Biblical works are now taken as themes.”

When we got to the tiny theater, it was bustling with tourists so we quickly found our seats and waited for the show to start.

The dance performance was first and without knowing what we were getting ourselves into, it turned out to be great! It was a small theater and the seats were rather squished, but we remained comfortable the entire show. The musicians came out and started playing their drums and singing.

Performance Musicians

Then the performers came out. There were two main actors and they were both great. The costumes were so grand and elaborate and their facial expressions were unreal.

It was really fun and entertaining and since the theater is so small, it makes the performance very intimate. The actors really play with the crowd and get into their characters.  My hope is to upload a video soon. We will see internet…. we will see.

8 thoughts on “Traditional Kerala Kathakali Dance Performance

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