Colourful costume exhibition at City Space

Press Release: 09/09/2013

Performer in Kathkali outfit

Spectacular costumes, fabrics and artefacts used in traditional Kathakali dance and drama will be on display at City Space gallery in the Winchester Discovery Centre from Saturday 14 September to Sunday 6 October.

Together with the stunning costumes there will be masks and textiles that bring alive the vibrant and colourful tradition of this fascinating and ancient form of storytelling. From its origins in Kerala in south-west India, visitors will be taken on a journey into the rich cultural heritage of the Kerala community who left their homeland to settle in Hampshire.

Cllr Robert Humby, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Economic Development at Winchester City Council, said:

I am sure visitors to City Space will be enthralled by this dramatic and colourful exhibition and will be keen to take advantage of the opportunities on offer with the workshops and performances to discover more about the fascinating culture and traditions of the Kerala community.

As well as the exhibition in City Space Winchester Discovery Centre is hosting two other events that will allow visitors to discover the rich history of these dances, dramas and rituals.

On Saturday 14 September there are two free workshops from 11am to 12 noon, one in Kathakali drama and one in Bhartaha Natyama dance followed by two solo performances presented by experts and a film show from 2pm to 3.15pm. Places are limited for these events so please book via the Discovery Centre box office on 01962 873 603.

On Saturday 28 September you can enjoy a memorable and visually spectacular performance from the internationally renowned Kala Chethena Kathakali Company from Kerala. Performances dramatically conjure up powerful stories; good and evil battling for supremacy with ancient mythologies brought to life. In addition to Kathakali several classical and traditional art forms and rituals will be performed including Thala Poli (welcome ritual), Thirivathira Kala (a 2,000-year-old dance for women), Mohiniattam (centuries-old classical dance of Kerala), and Bharatha Natyama (the oldest classical dance of India and songs of Kerala). The performance starts at 7.30pm and will finish at 10pm. Tickets are £6 each, available from the Winchester Discovery Centre Box Office.

Between 3pm and 5pm on the day of the performance it will be possible to see the elaborate Kathakali make-up being applied to the actors. Again please contact the Box Office to book a place.

Kathakali make-up specialist Kalamandalam Barbara Vijayakumar said:

We are delighted to be able to offer the people of Winchester the opportunity to discover the colourful world of Kathakali and the people of Kerala, south-west India through beautifully made Kathakali costumes and our performances of this traditional form of dance and drama.

This is a rare opportunity to see this exciting and spectacular cultural event combining performance, exhibits and hands-on participation that offers something for all the family.