Kathakali, to be honest, if you know anything about the state, then, the chances are, you already know a tidbit about Kathakali. Expressing the deepest emotions without uttering a single word are the highlights of this dance form.The artists completely immerse themselves and the audience into the story they’re describing.
Pacha Vesham or the green make-up portrays noble protagonists.
Kathi Vesham portrays villainous characters.
There are three types of beards or Thadi Veshams. VellaThadi or White beard for superhuman monkeys like Hanuman. ChuvannaThadi or Red beard meant for evil characters. KaruthaThadi or Black beard for the hunter.
Kari Vesham is used for she-demons.
Minukku (Prettying Up)
The “Minukku Vesham” is used for female characters and sages.
Mudra is a stylised sign language used to depict an idea, a situation or a state of being. A Kathakali actor enacts his ideas through mudras. For this the actor follows a systematic sign language based on Hastalakshana Deepika, a treatise on the language of hand gestures.
Kathakali orchestra is formed of two varieties of drums – the maddalam and chenda; the chengila which is a bell metal gong and the ilathalam or cymbals.