Performances & Events


Kathakali Lecture/Demonstration

November 2, 2023 | 10:00 am

Free - no tickets required

Traditional South Asian costume for a Kathakali Dance Drama

Join us for a lecture-demonstration of the Kathakali dance-drama plays from Kerala in South-western India featuring renowned artist Kalamandalam Manoj Kumar and lecturer V. Kaladharan.

Kumar will unfold the language of Kathakali, the stylized and semi-stylized hand-gestures, leg-exercises, body-movements, eye-exercises, facial expressions and enactment of characters, male and female, without facial make-up and costumes but accompanied by vocal and instrumental music. V. Kaladharan writer and art-critic will speak briefly at the outset and in between the demonstration on the history, aesthetics and transformations of the art-form.

Part of the U-M Fall 2023 Festival of Asian Music

Festival of Asian Music

Kathakali, literally story-play, is a highly evolved dance-theatre tradition that originated in Kerala, south India, in the 17th century. It is an amazing amalgam of dance, drama, and music; vocal and instrumental. The facial makeup & costuming of Kathakali are both stylized and semi-realistic. The ornamentations in Kathakali are intricate, intriguing and incredibly elaborate. It takes three to four hours for a Kathakali actor to transform himself/herself into a Kathakali character. Traditionally Kathakali plays dramatize stories from the great Indian epics: the Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Srimad Bhagawatha.

Free and open to the public; Presented by the Center for World Performance Studies with support from the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, the Center for South Asian Studies, and the U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant.

If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation to participate in this event, please contact Center for World Performance Studies, at [email protected] or call 734-936-2777, at least one week in advance of this event. Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the University to arrange.

Discussion Free Lecture Talk Interdisciplinary Central Campus
Traditional South Asian costume for a Kathakali Dance Drama

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