Kathakali Dance-Theatre: A Visual Narrative of Sacred Indian Mime

Paper Type: Art Paper (Matt) | Size: 298 x 216 mm
All colour; 361 colour and 49 black and white photographs; 296 pages, Hardcover
ISBN-10: 9385285017 | ISBN-13: 978-93-85285-01-1

 3500 |  80 |  50

Kathakali, a relatively recent performing art with a 400-year-old heritage, is one of the great artistic wonders of the world. Originating in Kerala in the southwest corner of India, it vividly unveils the stories of larger-than-life characters—gods and demons—of Hindu epics with an aesthetic combination of dance, theatre, mime, acting, instrumental and vocal music, and above all the pageantry of extremely bewitching costumes. Kathakali Dance-Theatre, written by one of the highly regarded writers of our times on Kerala arts traditions, records the art of Kathakali comprehensively, right from the scenario that paved the way for Kathakali’s origin and development to its present history. The book chronicles its various facets—the acting, music and costumes, crucial contributions of the masters, momentous incidences, evolution of styles, riveting anecdotes, and related socio-political issues affecting Kerala. The first-hand personal rendition of the author’s experience and the detailed glossary make it immensely readable. Full of photographs depicting the masters of the art, green room activities and the vibrant theatre of Kathakali, this book will be a treasure trove of information for uninitiated readers, arts scholars, theatre buffs, potential researchers and students keen about the art and its future.

K. K. Gopalakrishnan
K. K. Gopalakrishnan
K.K. Gopalakrishnan, a well-known writer-photographer and a connoisseur specialising in Kerala performing arts traditions, started writing for a host of periodicals like The Indian Express and The Mathrubhumi Weekly (Malayalam) at a very young age. In the past twenty-five years he has been writing mostly for The Hindu newspaper’s supplements such as their ‘Sunday Magazine’, ‘Literary Review’, various editions of the ‘Friday Review’ and ‘Sruti’ Magazine (Chennai). He is the honorary Editorial Associate of Hyderabad-based ‘Nartanam Quarterly’, the only English dance journal in India having global readership. Choosing to resign from his post as officer at State Bank of India to focus on art studies, since December 2010 he is serving as the Director of the Centre for Kutiyattam, Thiruvananthapuram, of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, Delhi, the national academy of music, dance and drama under the Govt of India, Ministry of Culture. He is also the Governing Body member of the South Zone Cultural Centre of the Ministry of Culture for the support of South Indian cultural traditions and a member of the General Councils of the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi and Kerala Folklore Akademi (state academies for arts and culture). Popularly known as both KK and KKG in the Indian arts scenario, he is a significant source of information/reference for artists, scholars, media and research students including those from foreign countries.