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The Kala Chethena Kathakali Company
Celebrating 30 years of touring the UK and the success of the 2015 UK Tour The Kala Chethena Kathakali Company is back in Britain in 2017 – direct from Kerala, with unforgettable Kathakali performances performed by top international performers, superb singers, rhythmic drummers and highly skilled make-up artists.
Kathakali is a masterpiece of sacred theatre that erupts on stage with striking visual images that expose the magical world of South India. Nurtured for centuries by the remarkable people of Kerala, Kathakali leads the audience into the entrancing world of storytelling.
The Kala Chethena Kathakali Company was founded in 1987 by Kathakali make up specialist, Kalamandalam Barbara Vijayakumar and Kathakali actor, Kalamandalam Vijayakumar. The company has presented more than 1,750 performances, 3,500 workshops and 23 exhibitions introducing the art of Kathakali to thousands of people all over the country.
‘They perform with amazing grace and dignity. Intense, hypnotic and spectacularly beautiful’
What is Kathakali?
Kathakali has been ingrained in the temple culture of Kerala for centuries, bringing the ancient Hindu stories alive with incredible precision, extraordinary characters, powerful music and stunning images.
Kathakali is one of the most powerful forms of theatre in the world. The characters are completely transformed through elaborate three-dimensional make up called “Chutti”.
The actors, traditionally men, express grace, power and destruction. As the story unfolds, a Kathakali play provides both a gateway to the past, and a vision of the future. Relationships have changed very little since these symbolic plays were written, to challenge the spiritual values and social behaviour of the community.
‘It is impossible not to find the performance colourful, entertaining and fascinating. The dancers` impressive skill, rooted in years of discipline, remind us of the glory of non-European drama’
It’s the Indian equivalent of Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet or Royal Shakespeare Company visiting your area!