About The Book
Few performing an-forms are marked by the dramatic dynamic that govern Kathakali. From the culturally rich southern Indian state of Kerala.
The dance, characterized by a unique feature – its staunch distance from worldly reality- selects to include within its scope only the most supernatural and mythological aspects concerning the lives and affairs of celestial beings, deities, demons, and sages.
An elaborately defined code of body kinetics combined with beautifully eloquent by stylized make-up and costumes to provide the several appropriate symbolic nuances typifying Kathakali. The artiste, besides, makes little attempt to internalize the emotions of the character he portrays. Instead, he enlivens his performance through the dimension of life-breath, or prana, in sattwikabbinaya and infuses soul into his performance through rasabhinaya, or emotional acting. Exaggerated and extravagant, his histrionics enunciate a powerful language all their own, creating a poetic field of expression that needs prodigious imagination on the part of the viewer to fully appreciate a performance.
This double volume comprehensively explores the interpretative medium, detailing such fascinating stage aspects as aharya and angikabhinaya along with an intricate pattern if music and rhythmic employed in Kathakali.
Renowned scholars and performers additionally describe the textual sources for performances, discuss reputed Kathakali institutes, and outline the rigours of the disciplined training routine involved before a student makes his debut as a full-fledged dancer.
A rare insight into what is probably the most compelling art-form.
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