SUMMER ACADEMY

2018

(dates to be confirmed)

Kathakali

ages 14-18

with IB Theatre Research Project Principal Examiner and Kathakali expert, Fenella Kelly

The emphasis of the Kathakali Summer Academy 2018 is on immersion in the Art form to experience the rigour of the training and the discipline of the Kathakali performer. We will explore all the aspects and conventions of Kathakali that make up this complex theatrical form and discover for ourselves what we find interesting, beautiful or challenging. 

 

Outline

The week will focus on a series of exercises that will introduce students to the main conventions of Kathakali. All work will be practical and physical to include: mudras (hand gestures), navarasas (facial expressions), meyyurp (body strengthening), kalsadhakam (footwork and body movement), chuzhippu (coordination) and abhinaya (expression and communication through movement). Students will be exposed to the theoretical influences of Kathakali and will learn about the creation of characters through movement and make-up, and students will also watch sections of a dance theatre piece performed in Kerala, India.

 

Warm-up

The first part of the session will be to prepare body for the training by doing yoga and kalaripayattu to increase strength and flexibility. Meditation will also be done to prepare the mind for the work ahead. 

 

Salutation and foot work (Kalsadhakam)

After the warm-up students will learn the four patterns of footwork training that are conducted in all Kathakali training. These will be practiced at four speeds, and students will focus on posture and foot positions while learning the patterns. Students will also speak the rhythms. Before starting any work students will learn the salutation to the gods.

 

Facial expressions & hand gestures (Bhavas, navarasas & mudras)

There are 24 mudras and nine expressions used in Kathakali performances, and they are very precise in the way they are projected to an audience. Students will initially learn the 24 mudras and 9 facial expressions alone: love (shrimgaaram), mockery (haasyam), sadness (karunam), anger (roudram), bravery (veeram), fear (bhayanakam), disgust (beebhatsam), wonder (adbutam) and tranquillity (santham).

Students will learn how to use the mudras and navarasas together to create meaning.

 

We will culminate in applying all work to a section of the Mahabharata.

 

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