(Malayalam | Non-Fiction | 26 Mins)
For over three centuries, Kathakali, the traditional dance-drama of Kerala had been completely dominated by men. But along with the social changes that swept through the state during the middle of 20th century, a lot of women started coming forward to learn and perform Kathakali.
In 1975 a group of women ventured into this male dominated area and to form an all-women troupe - Tripunithura Kathakali Kendram’s Ladies Troupe. After 35 years and over 1000 stages to its credit, the troupe has been successfully performing across India and abroad, much against the male dominated traditions of the highly classical art form of Kathakali.
Till now there have been only 2-3 female artists who have professionally taken up Kathakali due to the challenges women have to face while travelling late night for performances, in the green room as well as on the stage.
Interestingly, even today women in the country don’t have an opportunity to professionally learn Kathakali. The doors to Kerala Kalamandalam, the premier institute for Kathakali training are closed to Indian women who want to professionally peruse this art form. The fact whether women make good Kathakali artists is still a heated topic often discussed and debated among the Kathakali fraternity.
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