The Make-up Palette….
Kathakali is the only tradition dance form in India which involves male dancers and it’s a particularly robust and energetic form of dance that is quite different from the graceful traditional dance that we associate with India. The costume and make-up is complex and lavish. We went to a performance at the Kerala Kathakali Centre in Fort Cochin and came away very impressed. The dance sequences are based on mythology and folklore and they use hand and facial expression to convey meaning which are called hasta mudras. The performers demonstrated the range of expression available to them before the show.
This photograph was taken from the balcony while the dancers were on stage beforehand, preparing and applying their makeup. This was an unexpected and fascinating part of the whole evening. In keeping with this art form that dates back to the eighth century, I have given this photo a bit of doing over.