Friday, June 26, 2015

Make-up art for Kathakali,

- By Trisha George

Kathakali is an Indian classical dance form that originated in the 17th century, in what is today the southern state of Kerala. Kathakali is known for its unique costumes, well-defined gestures and of course - the elaborate make-up. Although it is paint that is applied, the effect is more mask-like!

The colour and type of the paint-job helps the audience identify characters. A green faced performer is likely to be pious, while a red faced performer is probably evil. Female characters (played by men) tend to have yellowish, comparatively realistic faces. 
A female character
The paints are traditionally made of locally available materials: rice from rice four, black from soot, and colours from various stones. Coconut oil is used as a base for mixing these colours.

Nowadays, some Kathakali performances are preceded by the application of make-up for the benefit of the modern viewer or tourist. A performer painstakingly applies colour on his face - a process that may take over an hour.
'Make-up' application in process
 It does add a whole new aspect to the performance!

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