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Pacha vanquishing the Demon

By GrahamBaines
Kathakali is a form of traditional Keralan dance-like story / play, which lays great emphasis on complex body movements and facial expressions. It is an exacting art form, which demands years of rigorous training. Until the beginning of this century, Kathakali students stayed with their Guru or teacher from a young age and underwent twelve years of training. Students of Kathakali practice separate exercises for the eyes, lips, cheeks and the neck. 'Abhinaya' or expression is of key importance as is 'nritya' or dance and 'geetham' song.

This 'Gurukula' system has now virtually disappeared and has essentially been replaced by formal training. Massage aimed at making the body more supple also forms an integral part of Kathakali training.

Complementing highly evocative facial expressions, the 'mudras', and the music- both vocal and instrumental, Kathakali unfolds stories from a bygone era with finesse reminiscent of the Greek plays. This story was about Pacha (the subject of this photo) a noble hearted hero or God. In this story he was vanquishing a demon which was threatening his village. A totally enthralling and and completely wonderful play.

Large seems to bring out the best of this photo , if you have time.

I hope you enjoy him as much as I did.


Tags: Photo journalism Landscape and travel Portraits and people

Voters: IMAGESTAR, aitchbrown, Mad4WDW and 10 more

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Mad4WDW 12 England
6 Jan 2010 7:34PM
Excellent light and colours
dwarf 13 52 United Kingdom
6 Jan 2010 7:36PM
excellent, I especially like the hairy legs.....great focus!
gingerdelight 14 298 11 United Kingdom
6 Jan 2010 7:39PM
A well taken, colourful capture, and a great write up too!
pluckyfilly 14 351 33 United Kingdom
6 Jan 2010 8:36PM
great shot good detail and very sharp
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.7k 2395 United Kingdom
6 Jan 2010 8:44PM
Love this, particularly the intensity of the face.
Bob_V 13 1 2 United States
6 Jan 2010 9:34PM
What a superb capture Graham.
taggart Plus
16 47 14 United States
7 Jan 2010 12:57AM
Fascinating--- I have been reading about budhists, etc-- This is quite a costume!

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