Special Projects


The coronavirus is having a devastating impact on thousands of people. The Kala Chethena Kathakali Company would like to offer our sympathy to the people who have lost loved ones and to express our appreciation to the people who are helping others.

Our work was cancelled and our, “Life Behind the Costume” heritage project, based at the Museum of Croydon and kindly funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund, was postponed.

The Arts Council of England is kindly supporting us through these hard times through their emergency fund.

A massive thank you to all the people who play the National lottery for generating the income to provide this support. As soon as we get the go ahead Kathakali, along with the rest of the country, will be celebrating - please come and join us.

Watch this space.

Arts Council Logo

Behind The Costume - Kathakali Heritage Project 2020 - 2021

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.

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.

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

Due to the Coronavirus our dates have had ot be postponed. dates to be confirmed.

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