Overview for Kathakali Dance-Theatre: A Visual Narrative of Indian Sacred Mime
Kathakali, a relatively recent performing art with a 400-yearold heritage, is one of the great artistic wonders of the world. Originating in Kerala in the southwest corner of India, it vividly unveils the stories of larger than life characters-gods and demons-of Hindu epics with an aesthetic combination of dance, theatre, mime, acting, instrumental and vocal music, and above all the pageantry of extremely bewitching costumes.
Kathakali Dance-Theatre, written by one of the highly regarded writers of our times on Kerala arts traditions, records the art of Kathakali comprehensively, right from the scenario that paved the way for Kathakali’s origin and development to its present history. The book chronicles its various facets-the acting, music and costumes, crucial contributions of the masters, momentous incidences, evolution of styles, riveting anecdotes, and related socio-political issues affecting Kerala. The firsthand personal rendition of the author’s experience and the detailed glossary make it immensely readable. Full of photographs depicting the masters of the art, green room activities and the vibrant theatre of Kathakali, this book will be a treasure trove of information for uninitiated readers, arts scholars, theatre buffs, potential researchers and students keen about the art and its future.
Contents: Foreword. Preface. Charts: Evolution and Transformation of the Art. Part I. Introduction: The Land and its Vivid Culture. Part II. A Personal Journey of Discovery. 1. Poor Man's Rich Legacy. Part III. Perspectives on the Origins and Development of Kathakali. 2. Traditions in the Arts of Kerala before the Emergence of Kathakali. 3. Krishnanattam and the Metamorphosis of Ramanattam into Kathakali. 4. Emergence of Kathakali. 5. Evolution of Styles in Kathakali: Two Distinctive Traditions. 6. Three Regional Patrons of the Kaplingatan School as the Southern Style. 7. Two Legendary Masters; Kathakali and the Natyashastra. 8. Kathakali's Development and Changing Patronage: Kerala Kalamandalam. Part IV. The Artistic Form of Kathakali. 9. Abhinaya in Kathakali. 10. Physical Acting, the Aangika Abhinaya. 11. Kathakali Sangeetam, the Vaachika Abhinaya. 12. Costuming, the Aahaarya Abhinaya. 13. Subtle Acting, the Saatwika Abhinaya. 14. Percussion and its Role in Abhinaya. 15. Performance, Theatrical Language, Dramatisation and Variations in Interpolative Acting. Part V.Present Trends and Future Possibilities. 16. Kathakali: Post-Independence and Present Prospects. Appendices: Women in Kathakali; Kaliyogams.