Overview for Kathakali: The Dance-Theatre
Kathakali the Dance - Theatre, a detailed treatise by Govindan Kutty is probably the first of its kind by a Kathakali actor. It contains all the essentials necessary to a serious student of Kathakali as well as easy stepping stones for the uninitiated to explore the wonderful world of this dance-theatre. The guide to pronunciation is path breaking and should be useful to readers outside Kerala in correcting common but accepted errors. The detailed list of ornaments, the exhaustive tala notation guide the Hasta Lakshana Deepika in Roman script as well as in English translation are evidence of the author's sincerity and aptitude for detail. Kathakali's scientific sign language system should achieve wider understanding and popularity on the reading of this book. And Kathakali teachers as well as students should realise the importance of studying and teaching the Kathakali technique instead of merely concentrating on its grand costumery after studying this book.In fact this book should go a long way in supporting the spread and survival of Kathakali as an art form outside Kerala.
Kalamandalam Govindan Kutty (Author)
Kalamandalam Govindan Kutty was born into the Kathakali tradition, being the descendant of a family of eminent Kathakali actors. Since the age of seven he has been a stage performer taking part in his school anniversary productions and his entry in 1940 into Kerala Kalamandalam was a foregone conclusion. Graduating in 1949 with the blessings of Vallathol he embarked on a successful career of both performing and teaching. He has been a member of Mrinalini Sarabhaiâ€™s darpana dance Troupe, a reader in the Dance Department of Rabindra Bharati University, an Examiner of Visva Bharati University, and the founder of Kathakali Art Centre, Calcutta. With his Wife Smt. Thankamani Kutty he has set up the renowned Kalamandalam Calcutta, the training ground for many successful Bharatanatyam, kathakali and Mohiniattam dancers. Shri Kutty is now absorbed in the task of examining, researching and thinking on the rich tapestry of experience that he has gathered over a lifetime of hard work and translating it into a coherent, and usable form for students and lovers of dance. Kathakali has always been and always will be his first love. This book is his first work in English and the painstaking product of a deeply philosophical mind.