Saturday, September 19, 2009

ഗ്രാമങളിലൂടെ

ചിത്രശലഭം
നഗരങളീലെ ടെൻഷനിൽ നിന്നൊരു മോചനം

തുമ്പി

കുന്നുകളും മലകളും ഒരു ഓർമ്മ മാത്രം ആകുന്ന കാലം വിദൂരമല്ല


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Backwaters.. The beauty of kerala


Scene from Puthuponnani Back waters...


Fishing boat @ Puthuponnani backwaters....

Puthuponnani backwaters....






Fisherman near chettuva bridge

Chineese fishing net @ Chettuva



Fisherman during sunset.... A view from Chettuva bridge


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Ente Gramam.. Ethra sundharam..

After a long time upadting the blog again.. and now with the beauty of our own villages.....


Between the busy working days the weekends are the only hope.. and which place can give more happiness than our 'Naattinpuram' ....the beauty of green fields....























Thursday, January 8, 2009

KATHAKALI .....

Kathakali literally meaning "story dance" is the pantomimic dance drama, the dancing and the acting being blended together into an inseparable form. It is a combination of facial expressions and body movements which brings out the thought and emotion of the character.


Kathakali is a highly stylised classical Indian dance-drama noted for its attractive make-up of characters, their elaborate costumes, detailed gestures and well-defined body movements presented in tune with the anchor playback music and complementary percussion. Kathakali is one of the oldest theatre forms in the world. It originated in the area of southwestern India now known as the state of Kerala. Kathakali is a group presentation, in which dancers take various roles in performances traditionally based on themes from Hindu mythology, especially the two epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

It originated in the country's southern state of Kerala during the 16th century AD, approximately between 1555 and 1605, and has been updated over the years with improved looks, refined gestures and added themes besides more ornate singing and precise drumming.
Kathakali originated from a precursor dance-drama form called Ramanattam and owes it share of techniques also to Krishnanattam. The word "attam" means enactment. In short, these two forerunning forms to Kathakali dealt with presentation of the stories of Hindu Gods Rama and Krishna. It was Kottarakara Thampuran (1555-1605) (ruler of the south Kerala province of Kottarakara) who composed several plays on the Ramayana, which led to the evolution of Kathakali. Today, Ramanattam is extinct, but its storyplays continue to be a part of Kathakali.
Recently, as part of attempts to further popularise the art, stories from other cultures and mythologies, such as those of Mary Magdalene from the Bible, Homer's Iliad, and William Shakespeare's King Lear and Julius Caesar besides Goethe's Faust too have been adapted into Kathakali scripts and on to its stage.
The language of the songs used for Kathakali is Manipravalam. Even though most of the songs are set in ragas based on the microtone-heavy Carnatic music, there is a distinct style of plain-note rendition, which is known as the Sopanam style. This typically Kerala style of rendition takes its roots from the temple songs which used to be sung (continues even now at several temples) at the time when Kathakali was born. The orchestra of a Kathakali performance includes two drums known as the chenda and the maddalam, along with cymbals and another percussion instrument, the ela taalam. Normally, two singers provide the vocal accompaniment.
Chenda (Drum)


Traditionally, a Kathakali performance is usually conducted at night and ends in early morning. Nowadays it isn't difficult to see performances as short as three hours or even lesser. There are many daily shows for one hour or so at various tourist locations mainly targetting the foreign tourists.

A Kathakali actor uses immense concentration, skill and physical stamina, gained from regimented training based on Kalaripayattu, the ancient martial art of Kerala, to prepare for his demanding role. The training can often last for 8-10 years, and is intensive. In Kathakali, the story is enacted purely by the movements of the hands (called mudras or hand gestures) and by facial expressions (rasas) and bodily movements. The expressions are derived from Natyashastra (the tome that deals with the science of expressions) and are classified into nine as in most Indian classical art forms. Dancers also undergo special practice sessions to learn control of their eye movements.

Kathakali Artist acting a Deer with the help of Mudra


There are 24 basic mudras -- the permutation and combination of which would add up a chunk of the hand gestures in vogue today. Each can again can be classified into 'Samaana-mudras'(one mudra symbolising two entities) or misra-mudras (both the hands are used to show these mudras). The mudras are a form of sign language used to tell the story.
Kathakali dancer Showing lotus flower with mudras
The main facial expressions of a Kathakali artist are the (nine feelings or expressions) which are Sringaram (Romance), Hasyam (ridicule, humour), Bhayanakam (fear), Karunam (Kindly/ pathos), Roudram (anger, wrath), Veeram (valour), Beebhatsam (disgust), Adbhutam (wonder, amazement), Shantam (tranquility, peace).
Sringaram (Romance)

Beebhatsam (disgust)
Shantam (tranquility, peace)

Veeram (valour)

Adbhutam (wonder, amazement)

Karunam (Kindly/ pathos)
One of the most interesting aspects of Kathakali is its elaborate make-up code. Most often, the make-up can be classified into five basic sets namely Pachcha, Kathi, Kari, Thaadi, and Minukku. The differences between these sets lie in the predominant colours that are applied on the face. Pachcha (meaning green) has green as the dominant colour and is used to portray noble male characters. Rakshasik characters having an evil streak are anti-heroes in the play (such as the demon king Ravana) -- and portrayed with streaks of red in a green-painted face. Excessively evil characters such as demons (totally tamasic) have a predominantly red make-up and a red beard. They are called Chuvanna Thaadi (Red Beard). Tamasic characters such as uncivilised hunters and woodsmen are represented with a predominantly black make-up base and a black beard and are called Kari/Karutha Thaadi (meaning black beard). Women and ascetics have lustrous, yellowish faces and this semi-realistic category forms the fifth class. In addition, there are modifications of the five basic sets described above such as Vella Thadi (white beard) used to depict Hanuman (the Monkey-God) and Pazhuppu, which is majorly used for Lord Shiva.

Pacha (Green) - Male Character
Minukku (yellowish faces) - Female Characters

The dancers wear large head dresses, and the contours of the face are extended with moulded lime. The extraordinary costumes and make-up serve to raise the participants above the level of mere mortals, so that they may transport the audience to a world of wonders.


A person to enjoy the Kathakali performance he should be aware about Hindu mythology,the character,The make up,the costume,the mudras and finally the slokas or verses sung by the singers.

Songs