Performing Art Forms of Kerala

The rich repertoire of Kerala’s performing art forms is one of the most coherent evidence of its affluent culture and tradition. These performing art forms of Kerala include dance, music and martial art forms which have been significant feature of ceremonies, celebrations, rituals and also entertainment in Kerala. These art forms reflect the traditional life, customs and cultural heritage of the region.The elaborate performing art scene of Kerala is rewarded recently by UNESCO as one of its theatre forms- Koodiyattom, is designated as one of the “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”. Such an exclusive recognition shows the captivating fervour and thrill with which these art forms have managed to inspire and bedazzle generations.Some of the famous performing art forms of Kerala include:Kathakali – A theatrical form of dance, Kathakali is mainly performed during religious events and festivals. Known for its elaborate costumes and performances, Kathakali is a spectacular art of story-telling, based on the religious texts. This is a form of dance drama earlier performed only in the temples and palaces of Kings. From the detailing of costumes to the finesse of emotions expressed in this dance form is essential to emote the role of Gods. Costumes and make-up for Kathakali are elaborate and takes hours to finally complete and thus enhances the total impact of the play to a greater degree.Koodiyattom: A form of Sanskrit theatre, Koodiyattom is performed in Sanskrit language in Hindu temples. This 2000 year old form of dance is recently recognised by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity for its magnificent cultural expression. Shrouded with hidden meanings of its metaphors and delicate impressions, Koodiyattom has been one of the hallmarks representing Sanskrit literature.Music of Kerala – Kerala has diverse styles of folk and tribal music and Carnatic music mainly dominates the region’s musical history. People of Kerala takes music very seriously and music is much more than a hobby it is rather considered as a method of worshipping. Its sanctity is still preserved in the form of rich tradition of music of Kerala. With the developments in music various forms emerged that includes classical music, popular music and Chenda Melam which is a religious form of music which comprises of 150 musicians and the ensemble can last up to four hours.Kalarippayattu – An ancient form of martial art, Kalarippayattu is one of the oldest in the world. This Dravidian art form of fighting is practised with a system of kicks, strikes, grappling, preset forms, weaponry and also healing methods. The forms of Kalarippayattu differ slightly as per their geographic presence. There is Northern, Southern and Central style of Kalarippayattu. While it’s northern form pays emphasis on the usage of weapons, its southern form is all about bare hands techniques to combat with opponent and the central form mixes best of both techniques including hand and weapons.These rich performing art forms of Kerala have contributed immensely in creating culture of Kerala a vibrant entity celebrated through generations.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.