Women in Kathakali – Vol 2

Kathakali is known for its colourful yet heavy costumes and its distinct hand gestures AKA hasta mudras. Exponents of the art form state that the hands of Kathakali speak for themselves. The music, that plays a significant role in a Kathakali performance, is unique in terms of the instruments used, the composition and recitation.

As the name suggests, Kathakali is the art of narrating or depicting a story. A typical Kathakali performance involves artists who depict stories penned in the Mahabharata, the Ramayana and many other Indian scriptures. Today, however, experts have depicted many tales in a similar manner. These include plays written by Shakespear and even biblical stories.

A popular story that is often presented during a Kathakali recital is that of Sudhaama and Lord Krishna. Sudhaama, a friend of Lord Krishna, hails from a poor family. Upon seeing the way in which his wife and children suffered in silence, he decided to find a solution to their miserable poverty-stricken lives. For which, Sudhama had set out to meet Lord Krishna at his palace in Dwaraka. Upon meeting his old friend, Sudhama is excited and is all praise of his old friend. The song Ajitha Hare, describes Sudhama’s love and devotion.

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