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Kathakali dance troupe in Egypt for first time

Press Trust of India  |  Cairo 

With its distinctive style of dance and colorful costumes, the Kathakali dance troupe wooed the audience during its performances in different cities of Egypt.

The visit of the nine-member Kathakali dance troupe was a part the 14th Summer Festival organized by Bibliotheca Alexandrina on August 1 and also to perform in other cities including Port Said, Ismailia and Cairo.

"Egypt has a great culture and there are many similarities between the two countries," the leader of the troupe, Rajumohan Padinharey Kizhikkilode, told PTI in an interview.

Kizhikkilode, who is recognized as one of the most successful Kathakali artists, said this is the first time for the troupe to perform in Egypt.

"Kathakali dance came from Hindu mythology and it's movements are like yoga movements but it also involves musicians, instruments and makeup to create a wonderful colorful performance."

Kizhikkilode, as well as his troupe members, said there were no barriers for people to understand their show and that audience usually enjoys their colorful costumes and makeup, in which they use natural stones to make it.

The members of the troupe also expressed their happiness as they were well received by Egyptian audience.

"After we performed in Alexandria we found that the audience were awesome," said Kunhi Raman Abhishek, an actor in the troupe.

"We are all so happy that we are here and we are very exited to see the pyramids," he added.

Abhishek said that he was attracted to the Kathakali art


form as he brought up seeing all his family practice the same art.

"All of my family are in this field so everyday I see this so I have passion for it."

Abhishek said that although it is a tiring job he enjoys it. "We have to do many rehearsals in order to study the full character and it takes four hours to get ready for a kathakali performance."

Kathakali is a complex art, which is combination of many different forms of art. It includes dance, drama, literature, music both vocal and instrumental, and plastic form of art, such as painting and sculpture.

The troupe, however, made some innovation to this classical art.

"We do innovations to Kathakali. We have taken Shakespeare plays into Kathakali. We performed plays like Othello, Macbeth, Hamlet and others," said Abhishek, adding people in India support them and like to see their innovations.

As part of their tour, the Indian dance troupe performed in different places including Port Said Cultural Palace, Ismailia Cultural Palace and they will perform their final performance here on Saturday at the Egypt Society for Culture and Development (ESCD) Cultural Palace, in Cairo.

The first story, Poothanamoksham, present an episode from his childhood and Santanagopalam, which is also adapted from Srimad Bhagavata, depicting the travels of a Brahmin.

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First Published: Sat, August 06 2016. 15:22 IST
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