Kathakali is one of the Indian classical dance form that originated in kerala. It is based both on Indian and keralite art forms. The music, rules of acting, story telling techniques, costumes are formed as a result of combination keralite and Indian art. The mudras(hand gestures)used come from ancient Indian thantra vidhya and choreography is mainly influenced by keralite art forms like Kalarippayattu,Theyyam,Padayani etc. Kathakali has origins in Ramanattam and Krishnattam which existed in kerala. The stories enacted have their origins in Hindu Puranas.
The main parts of the dance drama are known as the following
The four types of abinaya that bharathamuni has described in natyashastra forms the basis of acting in kathakali also
For Angika abniya , the actor uses his hands. There 24 main hastha mudras and many upamudras that h elp the actors communicate. The body movements also form the part of acting.
In Kathakali the actors never talk. They only act according to lyrics sang by the singers standing at the back of the stage.
The costume and the makeup form the Aharayabhniya part of Kathakali. The costume of actors come in five different styles and are the following 1.Pacha 2.Kathi 3.Kari 4.Thadi 5.Minuk
The thought and emotions of the characters are conveyed through Bhava abhinaya.Movements of Eyes, Eye brows, Cheeks, Lips form the Swasthika abniya