For The Culture Traveller, Witness The Marvel Of Kerala’s Art Forms In Fort Kochi

by Tejashee Kashyap
For The Culture Traveller, Witness The Marvel Of Kerala’s Art Forms In Fort Kochi

Kerala, as they say, is ‘God’s Own Country’. The state gives a nod to its lush natural beauty, beguiling backwaters and wealth of spices for generations. However, the best way to understand Kerala’s historic tales is to watch them being performed in front of your eyes. And the best place to witness these magical art forms is at the Kerala Kathakali Centre on the premises of Fort Kochi.

Inside The Kerala Kathakali Centre

Kerala Kathakali Centre
Credits: Canva

At the Kerala Kathakali Centre, you can get a glimpse and understanding of the varied art forms of Kerala. The performances are held in a specially designed theatre with traditional architecture and decor. They are conducted in the evening and usually last for around two hours. Intricate hand gestures, facial expressions and body movements of the performers accompanied by live music make the shows a must-watch.

An engaging performance begins at 6 p.m. with a demo at 5 p.m. featuring demonstrations of makeup application, intricate movements, and character development, followed by a captivating performance.

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At the Kerala Kathakali Centre, you can watch the performers get ready for the show if you come in an hour before it begins. The entire experience is worth your money as the narrator takes you through the various aspects of the dance form before the actual show begins.

Why Such Centres Are Important

Kerala Kathakali Centre
Credits: Canva

Kerala is synonymous with kathakali, a classical dance form known for its dramatic stories of gods and demons, and elaborate masks, headdresses and makeup. It is a highly stylised art form that combines elements of dance, music and drama to tell stories from Hindu mythology.

Not just Kathakali, the Kerala Kathakali Centre offers various cultural programs, including Kathakali, Mohiniyattam and classical music. They also host shows for Kalaripayattu, the sword fight dance that has gained popularity. This traditional martial art of Kerala is believed to have originated 5,000 years ago in the Vedic period.

Visiting the Kerala Kathakali Centre is a unique cultural experience that offers a glimpse into Kerala’s rich cultural heritage.  These art forms are at risk of disappearing in the modern world. And the centre’s activities are a way to preserve and revitalise them.

Where: Fort Kochi, Kochi, Kerala
When: Shows start from 5 pm onwards
Cost: ₹500 onwards

Cover image credits: Canva