Demystifying God's own dance

There is so much about this traditional art form of the State that still eludes the comprehension of common people.

`Kathakali - God's own dance', an encyclopaedic production in CD-ROM, to be brought out soon, could perhaps provide information on all that one wanted to know about Kathakali.

The task of preparing this comprehensive volume on Kathakali has been taken up by Hibiscus Design, a city-based multimedia firm. The volume will cover over 700 topics related to Kathakali, its history, structure, music, literature, presentation, training, the new trends that have crept in and, of course, the land which gave birth to the art form.

Kathakali performances by renowned artistes in the field will be another speciality of the volume. Two performances have been included in full, while the main portions of several other stories performed by the masters too have been included, complete with the percussion in the background.

Kalamandalam Gopi, who has associated himself with this project, says: "It is true to a certain extent that Kathakali is a difficult art form to understand, especially for the new generation. This is because of the inability in comprehending Sanskrit and the unfamiliarity with `mudras' and `kalari' techniques. This work, which seeks to demystify Kathakali, could perhaps make this art form more attractive to youngsters.''

Over 1,000 photographs will be included in the volume. The life and work of about 150 eminent Kathakali artistes of yesteryear, interviews with the exponents of the Northern and Southern style of performances and Kathakali musicians will be another speciality of this CD-ROM, claims the producers. The possibilities of multimedia have been explored in full in explaining concepts such as `abhinaya', `mudra' and the like. The CD-ROM is being designed in such a way that it serves the interests of the curious onlooker as well as those of a serious student, it is claimed.

By Maya C.

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