Kathakali - The Dance Of Kerala

 

A book that deals elaborately with the origin of Kathakali, its art, dance, rasas, costume, make-up, gestural codes, etc. 


 

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In making a critical study of the art and dance of Kathakali, the ancient folk dance-drama of Kerala, Gayanacharya Avinash C. Pandeya has produced this comprehensive book of an unparalleled nature. I feel no less pleasure than great honour that I am invited to express a few words on it. So far none has dealt with this subject (in any language) so elaborately and so systematically, as this young authority on Indian music and dancing has. He has presented the entire technical subtlety in a lucid style making it to rank as the first book on Kathakali literature, dance and art. Its authenti....

In making a critical study of the art and dance of Kathakali, the ancient folk dance-drama of Kerala, Gayanacharya Avinash C. Pandeya has produced this comprehensive book of an unparalleled nature. I feel no less pleasure than great honour that I am invited to express a few words on it.
So far none has dealt with this subject (in any language) so elaborately and so systematically, as this young authority on Indian music and dancing has. He has presented the entire technical subtlety in a lucid style making it to rank as the first book on Kathakali literature, dance and art. Its authenticity as the first today and the first tomorrow shall ever guide all dancers, students, commentators and contemporaries of all ages.

The book deals with the origin of Kathakali, its art and dance, rasas and costume and make-up, and gestural code; and makes a wide study on the origin of Mudras - their permutations and combinations. The interesting chapter on its mime - make-up and costume - vividly reinforces the intricacy and artistic development which this kala gained within a short evolutionary period of a little over 200 years.

The writer has taken great pains in tracing out those neglected pieces of this art which were hitherto unknown and unmined. While dealing with hand poses in use in Kathakali, Gayanacharya has tabulated the connotation of groups of ideas which each mudra represents. It will help considerably all dancers to remember various expressions expressible by them.

Kathakali is an interpretative dance-drama to the accompaniment of music.The highly specialized form of pantomimic representation makes this art to depict the actual life of our gods and people. While tracing the origin of Kathakali, the author has made an interesting survey of those human factors which can contribute in the evolu tion of dance. Guided by regional effects, habits, customs, and traditions, Gayanacharya believes that Kathakali has taken its birth to connote poetry in their (dancers) figures. The wide appeal of sentiments and emotions helps the Kathakali actor to depict an object or a thought in a lively and realistic color.

The author has been successful in giving the basis and importance of the use of various colors in Kathakali make-ups. The unique feature of the book lies in the discussion and analysis of Kathakali dance exercises and Talas used in Kathakali. Its practical utility has been enriched and enhanced by these.
The work presents a scholarly exposition of every art Kathakali and is an invaluable companion with every one interested in matters Kathakali. It is the first authoritative work in my opinion.

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