Every good photograph has a main subject, that draws the attention of the audience and communicates a story. And this week, the challenge for the weekly photo challenge is “One” i.e. to share a pic that focusses on one thing. And I decided that what better pic for this topic than a colorful and dramatic kathakali dancer in all his finery.
Kathakali is an Indian classical dance form from Kerala that means a story play or a dance drama. The dancers in this dance form are usually men (even in the role of women) and they wear billowing costumes, numerous ornaments and colorful makeup (made with all natural things). It is noted for the facial expressions (movements of the face, eyebrows, eyes, etc), hand gestures, no speech and less movement of the lower body. This dance is performed with a live playback singer along with drums and cymbals; to stories enacted from the two Indian epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, as well as the Puranas.
I have seen Kathakali performances in Thekkady and Kochi and loved both of them. Along with the actual dance forms, I also love the singing of the background artists which is very different from all other music forms. I am also amazed at all the expressions that these dancers are able to give. It is just amazing as you can distinguish each feeling such as anger, joy, etc with just facial expressions. And if you reach the performance venue in advance, then you can also see the dancers painstakingly applying this make-up. So if you ever plan to be in Kerala, one Kathakali dance performance should definitely be on your “to do” list. 🙂
Please feel free to comment on this pic, and you can check out additional posts on this topic here.