Writes lj-user ostrea: Traditional Indian Kathakali theater (or Kathakali) - a wonderful art of my favorite South Indian state of Kerala, which is a dance-drama theater performance, sometimes lasting many hours. It grew out of very different things: the temple dance during the execution of medieval religious mystery plays, yoga asanas, ayurveda, principles of traditional martial art Kalaripayattu South India, tantric rituals, with their horrible masks of demons, such as Theyyam, and even traditional tattoos tribal people in Malabar.
1. I went to Kathakali twice Varkale (alas - there came to the same idea, albeit with different actors) and three times - in Cochin, in each of the three urban centers Kathakali, with each of the representations I really liked on differently. Kathakali is complex as the technique of (actors learn this art from an early age for many years, and very intense), and make-up, which is spent on the imposition of sometimes several hours. All roles in the theater Kathakali performed by men.
2. Actor on the neck a locket with a picture of the god Ganesha - one of the patrons of Kathakali. 02.2010. Kerala, South India. The imposition of makeup - a separate part of the show Kathakali, which in most theaters are all interested to visit the audience. Conventionally makeup is divided into five "groups": Pachcha, Kathi, Kari, Thaadi and Minukku. Zelenolitsye actors portray positive male characters, whose character - a mixture of "Satvik" (piety) and "Rajasik" (nobility). Women and ascetics (Brahmins and sages) have a face "neutral" yellow. It is the color of characters Minukku ("shining") - the embodiment of purity, humility, and high spirituality. In the virtuous women and goddesses, such as Sita, Parvati, Draupadi, head covered with a veil. Excessively evil characters - demons and villains are black faces (make-Kari), covered with red and yellow patterns, or red makeup and a red beard - these are called Krasnoborodye. Canonical variations of makeup a lot, but about the general principle is that the face is painted in green and white - the goodies, red and chernolitsye - negative. However, there are exceptions: for example, the wild "forest people" - hunters and foresters - have black makeup curry and black beard, but not necessarily a negative heroes, and "red streak of nobility" rajasik also may indicate a hidden defect and negative characters belong - For example, a person the king of demons Ravana has traditionally drawn a wide red stripe on green background.
3. Grim extremely negative character - demonessy Nakrathundi: Kari with a black face red-yellow-white "point" designs. Topics for Kathakali plays, draws from the epic "Mahabharata", "Ramayana", the Puranas, and various Indian legends and stories. Here and there are more "modern" production: in some theaters, they say, put the "King Lear" and "Hamlet," Shakespeare's "Iliad" of Homer, "Faust" by Goethe. My dream is to someday visit this formulation, we would like to discover new faces. And I really do not want to see "an ersatz version of" (a three-hour spectacle for the tourists), but the present representation in the south Indian temple, lasting as it should - from dusk till dawn. Look (and shoot) Kathakali does not get tired, and I think I would have easily overpowered it. Classic view, according to the LP are, for example, in the town of Thiruvalla (Kerala, the district Pathanamthitta) in the temple of Shri Vallabha, and in some other places. The question is, where you can see the "Iliad" or "Hamlet" remains open. Sorry, no one knows the accident, where in South India are such entertaining performances?
4. The actor begins to apply makeup. Before you start reporting the actors are on the small stage, which is decorated with bronze ritual tall lamp Kalivilakku ("kali" in this context means "dance", "vilakku" - "light") with a thick wick to the bottom drowned in coconut oil. During the presentation of this lamp is used as the sole source of light. The stage was decorated with figures of Shiva Nataraja and Lord Ganesha and - the main patrons of Kathakali. The situation is very calm and peaceful. Through the cracks in the curtain and a palm roof huts, which are representations of Varkale, Kerala breaks the bright afternoon sun, filling the cast spots of light, bright as an egg yolk on the outside hears frantic birds, waking briefly before going to bed on the day's heat. Actors occasionally talking quietly among themselves melodious Malayalam. Spectators are still very few - most come to watch only the very idea. For me, part of the blend of makeup is no less interesting show than the actual show - I recommend not to miss on occasion.
5. The evening sun illuminates the actor inflicts makeup. Makeup uses natural paints, which consist of only natural ingredients: powdered minerals, vegetable and tree sap, coconut oil (it is used for mixing pigments), a white paste made from rice flour. The process of applying make-up usually begins with a massage with oil those actors - as sweat during the performance will be less dense phagedenic paint. Taken for wigs and painted knackered plant juices cortex. First, on the face of rapid and precise movements are applied basic lines, great attention is paid to expressive eyes. White glutinous rice flour paste mixed with lemon juice, applied to the face contour, visually expanding it, emphasizing the oval next "mask." Small strips of rice paper fix solution and make it more durable, so you can stick a paper "beard" - CHATTY. After completing the basic makeup, the actor puts a little seed forever poisonous nightshade to whites of the eyes are red - is that it makes the game special eye expression.
6. Three actors Kathakali make-up applied before submitting. The dancers alternately grimiruyutsya - mostly make-up applied by themselves, but sometimes they need help the makeup, for example, in such a crucial time, as gluing paper "beard". It seems that the actor is just simply bored and, in fact, all is not so simple: in those few minutes while he imposes makeup on his face, he should not only relax but also to "tune" itself for the upcoming role - is internally converted to hero or a terrible demon. The duties of makeup is to awaken the actor after a "dive into the role," if suddenly that in the process of rapid "experience" the future of acting completely disconnected from reality, having gone into a deep sleep.
7. Bonding of "beard"-to-face lying CHATTY actor. Kathakali classical repertoire includes more than a hundred pieces on the subjects of the Indian epic, but Varkale - a super-tourist destination - playbill Kathakali, unfortunately, does not indulge the audience diversity, and there are usually just a couple of the most popular short plays. Today the scene is played from the Puranas about the lowly love insidious demonessy Nakrathundi the son of Indra - the great warrior Dzhayantane. Accordingly, zelenolitsy positive character in this play - Dzhayantana and insidious Nakrathundi has just two "hypostasis": a beautiful girl in the garb of Lalita color of passion, which she turned to fraud to lure a soldier in his arms, and his own terrible shape, which it takes at last, when a love deception exposed, and the spell shattered. Blown away, I must say, with extreme brutality - Dzhayantana to nepovadno was in the final of the final battle she cuts off his chest with his sword. Indian epic at all has a great tendency to relish the bloody finale - the excision of hearts, the victors eating offal and other parts of the body the vanquished. You know, from what Genghis Khan died Kiratas? Here, too, something like that - a disease caused by the loss of important body (without a woman certainly has not done, which is typical). In fact, the "official version" sudden fall from a horse in relation to Genghis Khan looks like something a little less convincing, and I would say, very sad - for the Mongols.
8. When the makeup is imposed, there comes the turn to put on a heavy and complex suit. At the ankles and wrists tied actors rather heavy "harness" with sewn tight rows of bells and bells, designed to "articulate and emphasize the" every movement of hands and feet. While the actors are not yet fully dressed in their costumes and huge skirts, shows clearly how beautiful and expressive in their hands and feet. Of course, it is perfectly clear and in dance. Despite the fact that representations of Kathakali, visited me were truncated tour, the actors almost all cases, with very few exceptions, one as an true professionals who fully "laid out" in front of an audience and speak fluent with his skill. Of course, all this only spurred my burning desire to watch many hours of Kathakali-true.
9. Vestment Dzhayantany in his underwear. Go to the waist of each actor are bound tightly stuffed with coconut fiber pads, rollers. Then comes the turn, "hooped" to link to "rolls" from the top, skirt so that the future was like a ballet tutu. Crinolines are made of large hard polypropylene bags from under the rice - in a "stack" of such bags can take up to 30 pieces.
10. The lower "skirt" close-up. Sacks of rice from the supporting actor's costume, performing a function krinolinov.Sverhu all the splendor of ballet bandaging multimeter very long cloth belt, the main purpose of which is not only to hold the skirt, but the compression of the abdominal muscles to breathe correctly actor and fun to dance.
11. Together with a belt and air bag weight only the lower part of the suit actor is at least 10 pounds. On top of the "pack" wide white skirt snaps with a red border on kuliske, and wrapped around the waist belt, wide red five-meter length.
12. On top of the "crinoline" dressed cloth white skirt with a red border - the traditional costume of a positive hero.
13. He put on a skirt itself - help someone. In dressing the characters involved the whole company by helping to put on a bulky garment.
14. A pair of these frames are made in the same theater at the time of dressing the actors in the other night. Please note - the actors constantly change roles to be "masters of Kathakali universal" and be able to play any character plays. Dzhayantany role here plays the same actor, who was until I saw it as a beautiful Lalita (in yellow make-up). The actor, by the way, just fine. Unfortunately, the frames of his game left me a little as my broken lenses behaved very badly that night.
15. One of the "stars" in the center of Kathakali Varkale. After dressing up in costumes of actors will be marked "final touches" - bulky and heavy jewelry: Shoulders, bracelets and necklaces. While the actors grimiruyutsya and dress, they hang on the wall waiting for their turn. The last dress hat. All of these "crown" and decorating ideas for Kathakali carved out of wood, covered with gold or silver paint, decorated with feathers, the peacock, gilt wings of bees as sparkles and sequins, embroidered tassels, mirrors, colorful beads and bells. And, of course, also have weight not weak. Making costumes and decorations - an independent art form, which transmit the true masters of their children. Known company have an opportunity to hire a special master for the less well-known small company operating in the "resort" areas, with production of the costumes are usually operated by themselves. Costumes varkalskoy company look pretty old and already rather dilapidated.
16. Kathakali actor for several minutes before the presentation. The actor is almost ready, after make-up and before you put the final piece suit - high hat, he has a few minutes of rest. After the actor puts on the heavy headgear, make-up is fully completed - something to correct and we can not alter.
17. Portrait of a Kathakali actor. Next, after make-up an important part of presentation - a demonstration of mime actors. Leading give oral explanations, which means that a gesture or movement. It is very important to have a Kathakali actor arm movements ("Hasta" or "Mudra"), similar to sign language through which the feelings of the characters are expressed in multiple narratives. In order to emphasize them, the artist puts his fingers on the long "nails" - special metal caps. Dance moves like those in a bit Kathakali - throughout the presentation, until the final victory dance hero look like a clumsy leaps across the stage. But the richness of facial expressions of actors is simply amazing, so we must try to get as close as possible.
18. Lalita is a beautiful wise.
19. Here is a little further mimic the storyboard presentation before the performance. Gestures and emotions shows an actor playing the role of the beautiful Lalita - the insidious demon before her transformation. All frames are made for several minutes.
24. As you can easily see the lion's share of gestures performed by Lalita unrestrained flattery - ranging from "fire eyes" to outright "come with me to the barn, you will not regret."
25. And only this gesture suddenly knocked out of the logical number - it means "floating fish."
26. Lalita and Dzhayantana - an attempt to entice, not crowned with success. After this brief introduction by a loud drumming begins the actual presentation. Amazing spectacle - when the actors in their lush, "skirts" fiercely rolling his eyes, clumsy move on the small stage on a raised platform, this is very similar to the bizarre puppet show with incredibly huge puppets.
27. These figures with brightly painted faces, crowned with tall hats - instantly recognizable worldwide symbol of Kerala and its culture.
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