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The Kala Chethena Kathakali Company presents

Kathakali UK Tour 2024

Thu 10 Oct 2024

The renowned Kala Chethena Kathakali Company, from Kerala, South India, is bringing the ancient art of Kathakali back to the UK in the autumn of 2024.

Kathakali is the classical dance drama of Kerala, south India and combines storytelling, dance, drama, ritual, vibrant costumes, and an intricate makeup, featured in the Guinness Book of Records as the most three dimensional make up in the world.

Presented by Kathakali experts, who have undergone years of intense training and have performed internationally for decades, the tour focuses on making Kathakali as accessible and enjoyable to as many people as possible including children, families, and students, both from Asian and non-Asian communities.

The performance offers a rare opportunity to see Kathakali in this country, view the makeup, see the costumes, meet the artists, and ask questions.

A short pre-show demonstration illustrates how a Kathakali actor tells a story through emotions, facial expressions, characters, and gestures. A short film will take the audience back in time when Kathakali first emerged 600 years ago and highlight to story to be seen.

The performance that follows exposes daily life to include love, devotion, families, rejection, arrogance, pride, loss, aggression, global warming, equality, and abuse.

Based in Southampton and Kerala, southern India, the company was founded by Kathakali actor Kalamandalam Vijayakumar and Kathakali make-up specialist Kalamandalam Barbara Vijayakumar. These two Kathakali artists met whilst studying at the world-famous Kerala Kalamandalam. Kalamandalam Vijayakumar a student of acting and Kalamandalam Barbara a student of chutti make-up.  Barbara became the first female chutti [make-up artist] in the world!

The company have toured many times in the UK to welcoming and appreciative audiences who travel miles to see Kathakali.

For information about the performances, plus more about the ancient art of Kathakali, please visit www.kathakali.net.