Special Projects

We are delighted to be back


For the most up to date information please visit www.kathakalievents.com . 


March - July 2022

Our, “Life Behind the Costume” heritage project, presented by The Kala Chethena Kathakali Troupe, based at Norbury Library and the Museum of Croydon will be going ahead. 

Kindly funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund, Croydon Council and the Arts Coucil of England,

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. 


A section of a Kathakali costume



Professional artists

The activities will be led by internationally renowned artists:

Kathakali - Kalamandalam Vijayakumar, Kalamandalam Barbara Vijayakumar, Kalamandalam Harikumaran and Sadanam Mohankumar

Bharatanatyam - Anusha Subramanyam

Chenda Melam - drumming - led by Vinod Navadhara

Oral History Rolf Killius.


Oral History.


October 2021

Rolf Killius, Oral History specialist, has just completed training sessions and collecting Oral Histories from the people of Kerala who are settled, or work in, Croydon. These  valuable recordings will enable future generations to hear the stories and recollections of .the past. The recordings will be made available through The Kala Chethena Kathakali Company. 

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




Exhibitions, workshops and performances.



Subrang Arts - Croydon

March 19th and 20th 2022

Subrang Arts will be hosting two workshops.

March 19th - exploring the performing techniques of a Kathakali actor. 

March 20th - a Kathakali mask making workshop followed by a performance - see the makeup and meet the artists. 

led by internationally renowned Kathakali artists. 


Due to Covid places will be limited so please book early - details on www.kathakalievents.com

Tel: 07495279503 / www.subrandarts.co.uk


The Norbury Library - Croydon.

April 2nd - April 21st

The exhibition of Kathakali costumes will run from 2nd to 21st April 2022.


2nd and 21st April

The opening and closing dates will include a workshop in how an actor tells a story using gestures, facial expressions, characters and movements followed by an afternoon performance of Kathakali to bring Indian storytelling alive.

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

Contact: www.norburylibrary@croydon.gov.uk / Tel: 020 7884 5215

or www.kathakalievents.com


The Museum of Croydon

April 30th - May 21st 2022

Will be hosting an exhibition of Kathakali, Mohiniattam and Bharatanatyam costumes, traditional dress of Kerala, photographs, films and an evening of celebration featuring performances of solo Kathakali and Bharatanatyam, a guided tour of the exhibition and  performances of Chenda Melam - drumming and Kia Koti Kali [folk dance]. Delicious Kerala food to complete the evening. 

contact: www.museumofcroydon.com / Tel: 0208 2531 1022

or www.kathakalievents.com 


Opening 30th April - afternoon event

Guided tour of the exhibition and performances of Kathakali and Bharatanatyam.


The performances of Kathakali and Bharatanatyam will bring the exhibition alive as people can see how the costumes move, create a character and tell stories through acting, movement, emotion and characters.


Closing 21st May - evening event

Kerala invades the Museum of Croydon with Chenda Melam - powerful drumming, Kathakali, Bharatanatyam and an ancient dance performed by women called Kia Kotti kali.

Complete the evening with delicious Kerala food. - not to be missed - places limited - book via www.kathakalievents.com 

Performances by internationally renowned artists Kathakali - Kalamandalam Vijayakumar, Bharatanatyam - Anusha Subramanyam and Chenda Melam, - 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.

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. 

Dates to be confirmed. .


For more information please contact us on www.kathakalievents.com Arts Council Logo

Behind The Costume - Kathakali Heritage Project 2021 - 2022

Exhibition Of Costumes, Workshops and Performances

Dates to be confirmed.

Heritage Logo
Museum Logo
Kathakali Logo
This project 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"
Kathakali Performer



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


See the costumes come alive

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.


Kathakali Dancers

Oral History

Oral History specialist, Rolf Killius will be recording Oral Histories of some of the people originally from Kerala and settled or working in Croydon.to capture their memories. https://www.rolfkillius.com/


Kathakali Mask

Kathakali Mask

This exciting project was inspired by the colour, design and symbolic importance of the Kathakali and Bharathanatyam costumes, their origin, their history and how they have carried the remarkable history of South India from the temples into the communities of this country.

The desire to make beautiful things, dance, play music, tell stories and decorate our bodies has existed since people became aware of their identity and is an integral part of our unique heritage.

Traditions carried through migration illustrate the importance that people play in the preservation of our culture and ultimately our heritage.


Kathakali Dancer
Kathakali Dancer


Contact: Kalamandalam Barbara Vijayakumar: Tel: 02380 420114 or 07740 123070 or barbaravijayakumar@yahoo.co.uk