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Cochin Travel Guide

Kathakali Dancer, Cochin

Kathakali Centres

It is Kerala's very own, much celebrated dance drama. Kathakali evolved in the 8th century from 'Ramanattam' a dance drama created by Kottarakkara Thampuran, a great admirer and promoter of traditional art forms. Kathakali draws its theme from the wealth of Indian mythology and folklore. The performer is assisted by vocal and percussion accompaniments while the dancer through 'hasta mudras' or hand gestures expounds the theme. Expressions of face and eyes hold the key to perfection. Unique among the Indian dance forms, Kathakali ranks high among the Indian dance forms. Noted for its archaic costumes, weird make up, the elaborately painted faces often mistaken for masks and grand headgears, Kathakali is perhaps the only dance form in India in which the masculine aspect of the dance is preserved in its elemental vigor.

Some of the noted Kathakali centres in Kochi are India Foundation located at Kalathiparambil Road, near the Ernakulam Junction Railway station where the daily show begins at 6.45 p.m., the Cochin Cultural Centre situated at Manikath Road, behind Medical Trust Hospital where the daily show begins at 7 pm, Art Kerala situated at Kannanthodathu lane, Valanjambalam and one may also catch the exotic shows of the dance at Kerala Kathakali Centre functions at Fort Cochin near the Chinese Fishing Nets.

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