Kathakali Dance is one of the most artistic dance forms of India. It is a classical dance type that is associated with the art of storytelling. The storytelling art is the distinguishing characteristic that makes this dance form unique and different from others. This is a form of dance-drama that belongs to the South Indian state of Kerala. The dance style is similar to other Indian classical dance style arts, and the story in a Kathakali Dance style can be communicated through brilliant footwork and the face gestures used are also amazing. The hands of the performer complement the music and vocal performance. Costume of Kathakali Dance is also unique and it can be easily distinguished from other similar dance forms with the use of vivid makeup and unique face masks.
The dance moves used, reflect the martial arts of old-age and athletic conventions that are prevalent in Kerala and other surrounding regions. The dance form is unique and is traditionally performed by the male dancers. It was developed in the courts and theatres of the Hindu regions, whereas, other dance forms were predominantly developed in Hindu temples and monastic schools.
Kathakali Dance Costume:
Costume of Kathakali Dance is designed especially for male dancers and it incorporates the uniqueness of the dance form. It has make-up code, costumes, face masks, headdress and brightly painted faces that are different from other Indian dance forms. The spectacular performance of the dancers is complemented with the help of Kathakali Dance Costume. A surreal world is created by the performance and the music and lightning used in the dance form brings life to the characters of the legends.
Make-up code used in the Kathakali Dance form categorises the dancers in various groups and typifies them in different characters that include gods, goddesses, demons, saints, demonesses, animals, etc. The classification of the characters in the dance forms is based on three Gunas that includes Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Kathakali Dance costumes and jewellery are designed according to the different characters the dancers will be portraying.
Kathakali Dance Make-up codes:
There are seven major make-up fundamentals that are usually encompassed in Kathakali Dance form. They are Pacca, Kari, Minukku, Tati, Teppu, Payuppu and Katti. The character that uses Pacca make-up has their lips coloured in bright coral red depicts the characters of gods, sages and other Nobel characters such as Shiva, Rama, Krishna and Arjuna. Kathakali Dance Costume in Malayalam is designed keeping the characters in mind. Whereas, the colour code for monks and women is yellow. There is a divine character that is represented with a Vella Thadi make-up with a white beard. Black is used to represent some unreliable characters such as the demons and the demonesses and they have distinctive red patches. Evil characters such as the Ravana emphasize on the make-up with Tati (red) colour. To give a unique look to the dancers headdress and face masks are used that are prepared from the colours extracted from fruits and vegetables. The get-up and Kathakali Costume and jewellery are very unique and it takes several hours for the dancers to get ready.
Kathakali Dance Dressing:
The costumes that are to be worn by the dancers in Kathakali Dance forms are eye-catching costumes that ensure the audience’s attention and interest is not lost and Kathakali Dance costumes for women are also eye-catching. Facial expressions used by the dancers in this dance form uses several Raas that are broadly classified into different human emotions. Kathakali Dance performers from ancient times and the folk dancers are dressed in loud eye makeup, wear heavy Kathakali Dance costumes that are paired with heavy traditional jewellery and make-up.
There are several kinds of costumes. They are based on the characters played by the dancers. They are Sathwika, the hero, Kathi, the villain, Minukku or the females and Thatti. The costumes are designed keeping in mind these divisions, and as they are well known by the malayali audiences, they can be easily identified. Each of the characters can be easily recognized by the makeup and costume. The Kathakali Dance costumes and accessories have been known for their unique appeal.
Kathakali Dance Makeup:
The makeup is very elaborate when it comes to a Kathakali Dance recital. The makeup is so heavy that it almost looks like a mask. The best part about the Kathakali Dance make-up is that all the essentials are made from naturally occurring substances. For example, the white colour is made from rice flour, the red colour comes from vermilion, the soot is credited with the black colour etc. The colours are not only meant for dressing up but also signify various characters.
How to make a Kathakali Dance dress?
Ans – Some simple steps can be followed to design your own Kathakali Dance Dress at home. However, it may be difficult to collect all items needed to properly dress up for a Kathakali Dance performance because of all things may not be available. The most important part of the Kathakali dress is a massive headgear. It is prepared by using lightweight wood. Tiny mirrors, colourful stones, small pieces of shiny metals are used to decorate the headgear. Layers of different colours of skirts are worn. Kathakali dancers wear loads of jewellery to compliment heavy dresses. Kathakali costumes for rent is also provided by various designers if you are not sure how and what to use.
How to wear a Kathakali dress?
There are a lot of clothes that are to be worn when a person has to perform the Kathakali Dance . Anarkali suit or salwar and kameez are usually stitched for the dancer performers. The upper portion should be tight around the waist so that it gets stuck around the abdomen. The portion below the waist is in the form of a skirt and therefore it can be worn as a normal skirt. Headgear is the most important part of the costume without which the getup of Kathakali is incomplete.
Kathakali Dance Dress by Sanskriti Fancy Dresses:
Sanskriti Fancy Dresses is the supplier of costumes that are needed for almost every kind of dance event. Accessories are also supplied by us along with the costumes. You will not have to worry about the different types of dresses and matching jewellery. If you are planning to buy such stuff for a dance program then it may be expensive. Moreover, they will not be used again. Therefore, investing a huge amount of money on a costume for single-use is useless. We will help you with all your costume-related needs and the problem of searching for the jewellery and costumes is also resolved. We are one of the best suppliers who provide dance costumes on rent to the performers and you can also buy the costumes from.us according to your needs.
Look at some of the major reasons why we are the best in the market –
- We are experienced in the industry for over a decade now. With so much experience in the field, we are ready with all such items that you may need.
- All costumes and stuff are available for any kind of dance performance.
- Even if we run short on some items you will.not have to worry because we manufacture the costumes and need only a week’s time to fulfil the demands of our customers.
- We have an in-house team of designers who are experienced in their field and ensure that the costumes fit the performer very well and they can imagine themselves as the characters.
- The costumes are stitched with great attention to detail.
- Dresses are cleaned after every use and hygiene is taken care of to provide the best services to the customers.
- The quality of fabrics used by us are all great and we ensure that the best quality is used so that an extreme level of comfort is provided to the customer. Kathakali Dance Costume for kids is also available.
- We deliver the costumes and accessories to your doorstep on time. We deliver the goods to national as well as international destinations.
Kathakali Dance FAQ:
Who are some of the famous Kathakali dancers from India?
Ans – There are many Indian Classical Dancers who are well-known for their incredible performances and have successfully created a benchmark in classical dance. There are some very famous dancers from India such as Kalamandalam Gopi, Kalamandalam Krishna Prasad, Kalamandalam Kesavan Namboodiri, Kalamandalam Vasu Pisharody, Kalamandalam Ramankutty Nair.
What ornaments and dress is worn by Kathakali Dancers?
Ans – The costume worn by the main dancers generally include Kireedam and the components of makeup are believed to be extracted from the lime. The jackets are worn by some of the dancers and they are very colourful with different colours used in them. Pleated skirts are also worn that gives a flared look when the performer takes round moves during the dance. There are a lot of accessories worn as well that includes tiny anklets around the ankles and necklaces that are heavily studded with gems. Bracelets and bangles are also worn that enhances the entire appearance of the performers.
What musical instruments are used in Kathakali dance form?
Ans – There are three major instruments used in the Kathakali dance form that is Madallam which is Barrel-shaped, Centa it is a cylindrical drum that is played with the help of the drumsticks and Idakka it is a drum that is muted and there are some melodious notes played during the performance and it is played when female characters are performing in the dance. It is a traditional dance form from south Indian state Kerala. Basically, Carnatic music accompanies the dance form. Though the instruments change from performance to performance, some traditional instruments always remain common. These are Chenda, Idakka and Shuddha Madalam. The most fascinating part of the dance performance is that there is no oral communication between the actors. So there is the use of only music for the dance performance. The vocalists sing the scripts aloud and the rhythms change as per the scenes.
What are the postures used in a Kathakali Dance performance?
Ans-Kathakali is known for the intensive footwork, which is used. The hard symbols are the other distinguishing features. With the help of the mudras or the poses of the hand, an entire story is presented in front of the audience. There are 64 basic poses of the hand, that are capable of emoting at least five hundred words, which are used in kathakali. The words are expressed by the hands and the emotions are manifested through the eyes. The combinations of the hand movements and expressions of the eyes, are used to manifest a plethora of meanings ranging from just an overview to a detailed explanation.
Kathakali is performed using hard symbols and intensive footwork. With the help of mudras or hand poses, a whole episode is portrayed. There are sixty-four basic hand poses that can connote up to five hundred words that are used in Kathakali. While words are expressed by hands, emotions come through eyes. Their various combinations can be used to convey an array of meanings ranging from overview to any detailed explanation.