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Kathakali Workshops April 2019

13th April 2019

Our members had a very interesting and informative week of workshops with Kalamandalam Vijay and Kalamandalam Barbara Vijayakumar. We learned about the make up [Chutti] which is unique in its 3 dimensional form. This sample of masks were made by attendees and are representations of the make up applied to the Kathakali actors who perform the spiritual stories of the Hindu Gods in the temples of Kerala.

We learned that Barbara is the only Western female chutti artist in the World. She has been applying Chutti to create the characters of the Gods for 42 years.

Bhagya [pronounced Bagia] Lakkshmi introduced us to the ancient spiritual telling of the stories of the Hindu Gods through dance. Her costume is an elaborate sari pulled in very tightly at the waist to allow her to perform with her trunk in a rigid form whilst the legs and arms are very fluid. It was truly enlightening and gave us an insight into the derivation of Yoga.

The whole programme was to illustrate how the make up is applied and costumes are made as the ‘behind the scenes’ people are often overlooked.

We are now looking forward to a performance of ‘Poothanah Moksham’ [a demon goddess] by Vijay on 18 May at the Cranbrook Centre.