Besides being a treasure-house of scenic splendor Kerala is rich in arts too. And the most popular art form of Kerala is Kathakali. The beauty and power of Kathakali is supported by rich and antiques traditions. The Origin of Kathakali is associated with Malabar and, more particularly, Travancore, which remains, to this day the repository of art. Kathakali is a story of a dramatic form and is told without words. It is a composite art-form and is supported by song, music and acting.
These different art-forms are blended and overlap in exquisite proportions to create a unified impression. The effect of a Kathakali performance depends not so much on the isolated excellence of some of its subjects, but on the internal order. It is surely a daring experiment in self-expression, and the experiment has been sanctioned by the intricate technique does not hinder the communication of the intended rasa is a triumph of technique and tradition. Its highly evolved and meticulous pattern may strike the uninitiated as remote and artificial, but its effect is sure and immediate.
I am happy to introduce this book on Kathakali by the young artist Mr!Prem Kumar who studied in Kalakshetra for some months under the great genius and artist Mr. Ambu Panikkar, a member of the staff. Many books are needed all over India on dance and therefore I am happy to wish well to all efforts for more literature on the subject. Of course, the field of the dance including Kathakali is like an ocean and needs almost a 'lifetime of study to do full justice to it. Therefore many advanced books will be needed for people to make a real study of this great art of India, but I am glad to say Mr. Prem Kuntar has taken real trouble to do all he can to study sincerely and to make an authentic presentation.
In this book the names of the Hasthas are also taken from the Abhinaya Darpana and other books. In the old days there was far more similarity between Bharatha Natya and Kathakali, Therefore the origin is the same, and the names of the Mudras though the same often represent two different types of Mudras. This is shwn by Mr. Prem Kumar in his book. I am sure this, with the illustrations pill be very useful to the public especially for those who need a simple book to start with. So I am glad to recommend it.
I take great pleasure in introducing a work on the Dance Art of Kerala "TFIE KATHAKALI" by Mr. Premakumar of Ceylon. He has " been an ardent student of the Kathakali Art and has spared no pains. in mastering the same, specially the gestural side of the art. His treatise on the subject is definitely very instructive and helpful to students and to the Art-lovers in general. Literature on the Dance Art are but few, and an Endeavour like this is indeed very welcome. Thus the true service rendered for the Art for its preservation and propaganda is by the means of such valuable literature. I thank Mr. Premakumar for allowing me to peruse the manuscript and I find the same in order. I wish Mr. Premakumar all the success in his endeavour and an enthusiastic respoilse from Art-lovers of India abroad.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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