Event Dates


Museum of Croydon

Clock Tower

Katherine Street


CR9 1ET 

T: 0208 253 1022


The performancces and workshops may have come to an end but the exhibition of Kathakali, Bharatanatyam and Mohiniyattam costumes, traditional dress of Kerala, photographs, films, oral histories and other items has been such a huge success that the Museum of Croydon have extended the exhibition dates until 16th September.

Opening hours are limited to Wed and Fri 11.00am - 4.00pm so please come along and celebrate the incredible culture of Kerala, southern India.  






21st MAY 2022.

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


Photo credit Kalamandalam Barbara Vijayakumar


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




March 19th and 20th 2022

Subrang Arts - Croydon

Subrang Arts will be hosting two workshops and a Kathakali performance.

March 19th - a drama based workshop to discover how a Kathakali actor tells a story through gestures, facial expressions, movement and characters - 2.00pm - 4.00pm

March 20th - Learn about the Kathakali characters then make as mask based on the traditional make up designs - 1.30pm - 3.00pm

                     See a performance of  Kathakali highlighting the dignity of women and their right to be respected and safe. - 4.00pm - 5.00pm 

                     led by professional Kathakali artists from Kerala, southren India. 




April 2nd - April 21st


Exhibition of Kathakali, Bharatanatyam and Mohiniattam costumes.

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

SW16 4UW

Tel: 020 7884 5215



April 2nd and 21st

Workshop in how a Kathakali actor tells a story -  11.00 - 11.45

See the make up process and meet the artists - 11.45 - 12.30

Finish with a Kathakali performance featuring the dignity of women. - 2.00 - 3.00

Exhibition of Kathakali, Mohiniyattam and Bharatanatyam costumes

Ideal for 6 years and over to access Asian stories and culture. .




April 30th - May 21st 2022

The Museum of Croydon, 19 - 18 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. 



30th April - Exhibition opens


1.45pm onwards – Chenda Melam - drumming

2.00pm – welcome and open exhibition.

2.10pm – Kathakali demonstration

2.20pm – Bharatanatyam performance

2.35pm – Kathakali film

2.40pm – Kathakali performance

3.20pm – Kathakali ends

3.20pm – Meet the artists

3.30pm – Kerala refreshments and view exhibition

4.00pm -  Chenda Melam to bring the exhibition opening to a close.





May 7th


A Kathakali drama based workshop - 11.

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