Kathakali is a classical dance form of Kerala and in a way has today become the icon of Kerala. This dance form involves elaborate makeup, bright costumes; intricate hand, body, facial and even eye movement. Since Kathakali is an indigenous Kerala art/ dance form, for the lovers of classical dance and theatre, it is ideal to watch a Kathakali performance in Kerala. So in this article let us check out some of the best places you can watch a Kathakali performance in Kerala.
Folklore Museum happens to be the place where Prince Charles watched a Kathakali performance on his visit to India. Needless to say this place is a bit pricey but also luxurious. You can watch the Kathakali performance while sitting in a comfortable air conditioned hall, decorated with Kerala murals and traditional Kerala wooden architecture. The Folklore museum is situated near Thevara ferry in the southern side of Ernakulam.
Ernakulam Kathakali Club
Ernakulam Kathakali Club is another good place to watch a Kathakali performance in Kerala. They stage night-long plays and are performed by the leading actors in Kerala once in a month. The venue is either the TDM hall in Ernakulam or Ernakulathappan Hall near the Shiva Temple in Ernakulam. Details of the timings, venues and performances are available with all tourist centers in Ernakulam.
Kerala Kathakali Centre
This is the most popular place to watch Kathakali in Kochi. The dance is performed by the graduates from the renowned Kerala Kalamandalam. The hall is an air conditioned hall and the shows are from 6pm to 7.30pm. Kerala Kathakali Center is located in Fort Cochin near the Santa Cruz Basilica.
If you want to watch the Kathakali performance in Kerala in a small intimate setting, then Kairali Kathakali is the place to go to. It is in Fort Cochin opposite the Brunton Boatyard Hotel.
Rhythms Theatre to Greenix Village
Greenix Village is the most expensive? place to watch a Kathakali performance in Kerala. The place is grand and higher on entertainment value. On Sundays one can watch a performance that combines excerpts from Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Theyyam and Kalarippayatu which is martial art form. Greenix Village is located opposite the Fort House in Kalvathy road at Fort Cochin.
Dr. Devan’s Kathakali
Dr. Devan’s Kathakali happens to be one of the oldest Kathakali tourist shows in Kerala. It is named after its founder Dr. Devan. The venue is Near Ernakulam Junction Railway Station and the performance is from 6.45pm to 8pm. The show starts with a length discourse on Indian mythology and philosophy (both of which are related to a Kathakali performance).
Also please note that in most of these places, if you turn up an hour or half an hour prior, you can get to see the make-up done. Since the makeup is a huge aspect of Kathakali, many theaters allow tourists to watch the process.