Behind The Costume - Kathakali Heritage Project 2020 - 2021

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This project is presented by the Kala Chethena Kathakali Company and kindly funded by the Museum of Croydon and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The aim is to bring people together to celebrate the culture behind the costumes featured in Kathakali - the classical dance, drama of Kerala, south west India.


An opportunity to discover a whole world behind the costumes, the rituals, the traditions, the culture and understand how Kathakali, Bharatanatyam and other sacred art forms, emerged from the temples centuries ago.

The Museum of Croydon will host a series of workshops, performances and an exhibition of authentic Kathakali and Bharatanatyam costumes, traditional dress of Kerala and photographs.

Workshops and performances of Kathakali, led by Kalamandalam Vijayakumar, and Kalamandalam Barbara Vijayakumar and Bharatanatyam, led by Anusha Subramanyam, will bring the costumes alive.


The Kerala community will add to this experience by providing Chenda Melam, [powerful drumming] and the ancient dance of Kia Kotti Kali [a dance performed by women] to celebrate the remarkable heritage of Kerala.


Oral History specialist, Rolf Killius, will be recording the memories of the people from Kerala settled in this country.

Contact: Kalamandalam Barbara Vijayakumar:

Tel: 02380 420114 or 07740 123070