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Kathakali dance performance in Kochi/Cochin, Kerala.
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Kathakali dance performance in Kochi/Cochin, Kerala.

Dance of Kerala

It would seem self-evident to say that India is a great place to go if you want to see traditional Indian dance and hear its music.

However, the same statement would be less true of most otherKathakali performance begins with application of makeup. countries, where musical tastes tend more toward the same contemporary western pop music heard around the world. In other cases, the music is often of local origin but not traditional, such as Thai and Korean pop. Indians, by contrast, appear to revere their ancient culture and to be intent upon keeping its fine old arts alive. 

Above is the highly ritualized kathakali dance which tells stories from the Ramayana and Mahabarata. Performances begin with the application of elaborate makeup which is based on traditional Ayurvedic herbs. Kathakali dance is performed in Kochi/Cochin. Kathakali is performed on schedule in certain theaters; the photos above were taken in Kochi/Cochin.

Mohiniattam (below, right) and bharatanatyam are beautiful dance forms where bells around the ankles accentuate the rhythm of the mridangam player. Delicate hand movements to give shape to the classical vocal melodies.  Unlike kathakali, these forms of dance might be seen wherever and whenever there are festivities.

Mohiniattam and bharatanatyam, traditional dances of Kerala.

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