The choreographer’s perspective and his objective
The narrator’s appearing
Traditionally Kathakali dancers-actors don’t speak. They translate through their body language and facial expressions each word sung by two singers in Sanskrit and Manipravalam (a mix of Sanskrit and Malayalam).
This creation introduces the narrator who summarises the necessary episodes for understanding and announces the following scene. By bringing back the epic word to the centre of the scenic stage, the narrator increases the dramatic intensity and the cathartic effect.
A universal and polyphonic language
Introducing a narrator doesn’t however reduce the subtle nature of Kathakali, which resides in the perfect fit of theatre and dance.
As in polyphony, the narrator’s voice completes the song and music of Indian percussion: cymbals, maddhalam and chenda.
As for the dancers, they speak the language of a preserved, genuine Kathakali with the precision of Mudras (stylized gestures of fingers) as well as the intensity of expressions or the rhythmic dance steps.
It is that perfect synchronisation of different voices, song, music, epic word and body language, which harmoniously connect with the spectator’s whole being.
Philosophy and artistic approach
All sacred art have the potential for universal application.
Through its timelessness, art touches the most deep, most sensitive and most creative in a human being.
Rooted in the south of India, in the land of Kerala, Kathakali developed over numerous centuries from traditional elements originating as much from rituals as from forms of classical art or popular expression.
It was only in the course of the 16th century that the whole of these constituent parts (dance, music, theatre, make-up, costumes and so on) became the object of a codification, as learned as it was complex.
From childhood, Jayaprakas was immersed in daily artistic practice, dedicated to Kathakali. However, while building on the repertoire of the traditional Kathakali, his present approach seeks to make the complex messages that exude this art more perceptible to other cultures.