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Kathakali: Kerala Dance
Kathakali is a highly stylised classical Indian dance-drama noted for its attractive make-up of characters, their elaborate costumes, detailed gestures and well-defined body movements presented in tune with the anchor playback music and complementary percussion. It originated in the country's southern state of Kerala during the 16th century AD, approximately between 1555 and 1605, and has been updated over the years with improved looks, refined gestures and added themes besides more ornate singing and precise drumming.
Kathakali originated from a precursor dance-drama form called Ramanattam and owes it share of techniques also to Krishnanattam. The word "attam" means enactment. In short, these two forerunning forms to Kathakali dealt with presentation of the stories of Hindu Gods Rama and Krishna. It was Kottarakara Thampuran (1555-1605) (ruler of the south Kerala province of Kottarakara) who composed several plays on the Ramayana, which led to the evolution of Kathakali. Today, Ramanattam is extinct, but its storyplays continue to be a part of Kathakali.