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ReelEarth: The Ladies of Kathakali

Posted on 5/14/2019 12:00:00 AM in What We're Watching

A note from independent filmmaker David Conover on why he chose this film:

Kathakali dance theater is far from the lively, choreographed group dances of India’s Bollywood. It incorporates many more visual adornments, for starters: the traditionally all-male performers wear elaborate face makeup, huge headpieces, and intricately decorated costumes. Hand gestures and quick eye movements also serve to convey the Kathakali drama. In this film from the ReelEarth Collection, we visit the home of Kathakali dance: the South Indian state of Kerala. We meet Radhika Varma. She began the first all-female Kathakali troupe in 1974, at a time when there were no female dancers. Breaking this gender barrier did not come without opposition and apprehension from those around her. But that transitional era for this troupe are distant, now. Many years have passed. Radhika and her fellow founders have performed on stages around the globe. They are firmly entrenched. The group has grown larger, too, and more multigenerational. Young girls are eager to learn the art form. Please check out this wonderful film from Filmmaker Mohammad Homouda. Meet the determined women behind the masks!

Produced by Mohammad Homauda

About David Conover:

David Conover, a long-term partner of O.A.T. and Grand Circle, is an award-winning filmmaker and conservationist whose work has appeared on Discovery Channel, PBS, and National Geographic Explorer. He is the founder of Compass Light Productions and the nonprofit Conservation Media Group, and was recently the Coastal Studies Scholar at Bowdoin College. Learn more about David here.

Delve into the local culture and history when you join O.A.T. for  Soul of India: The Colorful South.

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