Canned cultural immersion. We've experienced it before, and ever since we've preferred to avoid tourist trap cultural shows. However, when the "real thing" is a twelve hour, overnight, sitting-on-the-floor-of-a-temple dance performance, sometimes the two hour tourist production is the right move. (Especially when it's ninety degrees outside and the tourist production has aircon.) And that's how Dave, Russ and I found ourselves at the Cochin Cultural Center's Daily Kathakali Show.
|Well, mostly we found ourselves there because I demanded that we go. The boys were less than convinced.|
But who are they to deny the "Kerala Tourism Excellence Award Winner"?
Kathakali training takes 8-10 years, and performers typically start learning their craft as young boys. Precision and discipline are crucial, and the actors even learn to control the movement of their eyeballs.
|This man was moving his eyeballs back and forth, up and down, |
perfectly in synch with a constantly changing drum beat. Amazing.
|A casual underarm sword-tuck is just right for a casual lakeside stroll.|
|Our beautiful woman calls out (non-vocally, of course), "Hey there handsome!"|
To all you men out there, beware! Never trust a sexually aggressive woman. It turns out that the supposedly beautiful woman is actually a demon who has borrowed the body of one of her earthly maidservants in order to sleep with the prince.
|The demon is unmasked! It is (even more) hideous!|
|Pretty sure the actor took one look at Dave's dome and flashed the "disgust" navarasa.|
All of our photos from the Kathakali dance performance are available here.