Posts Tagged ‘Kathakali’

Shivers up my spine…

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

A few weeks ago, Priya Thomas who runs the rather excellent Shivers up the Spine blog got in touch because she was running a piece about the pioneering choreographer Richard Tremblay and his training in Kathakali. In the 1970’s he attended the Kerala Kalamandalam which I photographed (and wrote about) for a magazine a few years ago.

In a fascinating piece, she profiles Tremblay and explores his cross-cultural approach. I was happy to give Priya permission to run some images and publish my piece Into the Dreams of Heroes in its entirety. You can see the main article here and my piece here.

My edit of the story can be found on my site here

 

 

A good collaboration.

Archives – rediscovered images 2

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

India - Kerala - Two students, one admiring himself in a mirror, relax in their room at the Kerala Kalamandalam

I think it’s the red square of the mirror that works for me… but I might be wrong…

Kathakali – Into the Dreams of Heroes

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

To my surprise and delight, Tewfic El-Sawy who runs the popular Travel Photographer blog has again chosen to highlight some of my work in India, this time on Kathakali.

The link to the page is here.

I remember I spent a very pleasant few days at the Kerala Kalamandalam – the state academy of Keralan dance in the sleepy town of Cheruthuruthy.

You can read about the story here on my website.

The students at the academy rise at dawn and undergo hours of daily exercise and academic studies for years to learn by heart the dances and the intricate movements of Kathakali. I thought Kathakali reminded me very much of classical Japanese Noh – a mute mixture of precise dance and theatre where slight eye and hand movements indicate an entire language.

The first picture has always reminded me of a pond of small frogs…

Young students at the Kalamandalam practice eye exercise at dawn. Kathakali uses very intricate eye and hand movements to communicate with the audience

Young students at the Kalamandalam practice eye exercise at dawn in a classroom lit by ghee (butter) lamps. Kathakali uses very intricate eye and hand movements to communicate with the audience

A boy is massaged by his teacher at the Kalamandalam. Massage is seen as an essential part of Katahakali practice making the body supple.

A boy is massaged by his teacher at the Kalamandalam. Massage is seen as an essential part of Kathahakali practice making the body supple.

Professor Balasubramanian pauses before he finishes his make-up in preparation for a production of the Ramayana

Professor Balasubramanian pauses before he finishes his make-up in preparation for a production of the Ramayana

In the late afternoon sun, a senior student relaxes after class by the Koothambalam (temple theatre)

In the late afternoon sun, a senior student relaxes after class by the Koothambalam (temple theatre)

Here’s a link to my work on Shadipur Depot, a slum colony of artists and performers in New Delhi that was a previous post on the Travel Photographer.

Here’s the full story from my website with text.

All images are available through my archive site.