Event Dates

Events with the earliest dates displayed first 


Kia Koti Kali - ancient dance ritual by the women of Kerala - can be seen on 21st May at The Museum of Croydon 



October 2021 to July 2022.

 “Life Behind the Costume” heritage project, presented by The Kala Chethena Kathakali Troupe, based at the Museum of Croydon and kindly funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund, will be starting in October 2021.

This project features exhibitions, performances and workshops to explore the culture of Kerala and the remarkable world behind the Kathakali costumes - the history, festivals, people, traditions, food and the arts. Kerala has preserved it`s heritage for centuries as a testemony of how people value and celebrate their identity. 



Professional artists

The activities will be led by internationally renowned artists:

Kathakali - Kalamandalam Vijayakumar and Kalamandalam Barbara Vijayakumar.

Bharatanatyam - Anusha Subramanyam

Chenda [drumming] by Vinod Navadhara

Oral History by Rolf Killius



Oral History.

October 2021

Rolf Killius, Oral History specialist, will be training people to collect Oral Histories safely and leaglly from the people of Kerala who are settled, or work in, Croydon. These memories will be lost in a single generation if they are not recorded. This valuable documentation will enable future generations to hear the stories and recollections of .the past.

For further information please contact Rolf on: rolfkillius@yahoo.com





Workshops and training

March 7th to 11th 2022. 

Archbishop Lanfranc Academy, Mitcham Rd, Croydon. CR9 3AS

TEL|: 020 8689 1255


The academy will be hosting a series of workshops for their students enabling them to understand, appreciate and enjoy Kathakali and Kerala culture. The students will explore identity, ancient performing techniques, rituals and a 4,000 year old sign language called Mudras used to tell a story. A comparative study of Kathakali and Bharatanatyam will bring centuries old performing skills to the young people of Croydon. 


The group will gain the knowledge to welcome visitors into the academy to see performances of Kathakali and Bharatanatyam accompanied by an exhibition of Kathakali, Mohiniattam and Bharatanatyam costumes, tradtional dress of Kerala, photographs and films. 




Exhibitions, workshops and solo performances.


March 16th and 18th 2022. 

Archbishop Lanfranc Academy, Mitcham Rd, Croydon. CR9 3AS

TEL|: 020 8689 1255

Following on from a week of study the academy will host an exhibition of costumes and solo performances of Kathakali and Bharatnatyam for the academy, local feeder schools and the community to enjoy.  

Performances by internationally renowned artists Kathakali - Kalamandalam Vijayakumar and Bharatanatyam - Anusha Subramanyam




March 19th and 20th 2022

Subrang Arts - Croydon

Subrang Arts will be hNORBURY LIBRARY CROYDONosting two workshops.

March 19th - exploring the similarities between Kathakali and Gujurati folk dance.

March 20th - exploring Kathakali fcharactes, how they move, who they represent and make a mask to take home.

led by Kalamandalam Vijayakumar and Kalamanadalam Barbara Vijayakumar




April 2nd - April 21st

The Norbury Library, 1 Beatrice Ave, Norbury, London.

SW16 4UW

Tel: 020 3700 1011


Will be hosting an exhibition of Kathakali costumes, photographs, films, workshops and performances to bring south Indian storytelling alive.

Ideal for all ages to access Asin stories and culture. .

Dates of activities to be confirmed.




April 30th - May 21st 2022

The Museum of Croydon, 1918 Katharine St, Croydon. CR9 1ET

Tel: 020 8253 1022


The Museumm of Croydon will be hosting a colourful exhibition of Kathakali, Mohiniattam and Bharatanatyam costumes, traditional dress of Kerala, photographs and films. 


May 6th 


Workshops in Kathakali costume conservation.


May 7th


A workshop in Kathakali mask making



May 14th


A workshop in Chenda [drumming]


Take part in a workshop and feel the exhibition come alive  - hear the sounds of Kerala, see how the costumes create a character and tell stories through acting, movement and emotion. 




21st May 6.00pm - 8.00pm 


and an evening of Kerala culture on 21st May to bring the exhibition to a close. The evening will feature performances of Kathakali and Bharatanatyam, a guided tour of the exhibition and  performances of Chenda Melam - drumming and Kia Koti Kali [folk dance performed by women]. Delicious Kerala food will complete the evening. 



Performances by internationally renowned artists:

Kathakali - Kalamandalam Vijayakumar and makeup by Kalamandalam Barbara Vijayakumar

Bharatanatyam - Anusha Subramanyam

Chenda [drumming] Vinod Navadhara





Beeja Dance Company - Croydon

Date to be confirmed

Will be hosting two workshops to explore the heritage and techniques of Bharatanatyam and Kathakali.
led by Kalamandalam Vijayakumar and Kalamanadalam Barbara Vijayakumar




Play for Progress - Croydon

Date to be confirmed.

Will host two workshops exploring the ancient healing qualities of Kathakali to focus the mind and body.

Explore how stories can be told through emotion, gestures and body language and the power of visual theate. 




The Kerala Community - Croydon.

Dates to be confirmed. .

As the project comes to an end the Kerala community of Croydon will provide the powerful druming of Chenda Melam, the centuries old dance of Kia Kotti Kali and delicious Kerala food. Their ancestors created and nurtured these remarkable arts so it is appropriate that the Kerala community bring this project to a close during a celebration of Onam. 


For more information please contact us.




A Dictionary of Kathakali Mudras - sign language

Learn - Understand - Enjoy.


Kalamandalam Vijayakumar, Kathakali actor and co-founder of the Kala Chethena Kathakali Company, has created the first digital interactive Dictionary of Kathakali Mudras [sign language] in the world.

Now people can learn the Mudras [gestures] used in Kathakali to tell a story and understand what the actors are actually saying. 

To access the first interactive Dictionary of Kathakali Mudras in the world please click here Kathakali Mudras

For an introduction lesson in Kathakali sign language please click http://youtu.be/u7S-c6jlivc


Actors Kalamandalam Balasubramanain and Kalamandalam Vijayakumar                                  Photo credit Mark Bennett