Hi Barbara here - I would like to pay tribute to a very talented person called Mark Bennett - he is the photographer who took the incredible photographs of Kathakali that we are using . Mark asked if he could take photographs of our performance at the 2015 WOMAD Festival, the last performance of the tour. I agreed and invited him backstage to photograph the preparation as well as the performance. Mark was exceptional, very respectful to our culture, a lovely person to be with and of course an outstanding photographer. His photographs are helping us to show the stunning visual images of the Kathakali costumes and the make up but what he has really captured so beautifully is the emotion and the characters of the actors. Thanks Mark for giving us your superb photographs.
I would also like to acknowledge the superb actors who bring the stunning images of Kathakali to life - Kalamandalam Balasubramanian, the ex principal of the Kerala Kalamandalam, is an amazing artist who has devoted his whole life to Kathakali. He is renowned for his portrayal of the heroic characters [green face] and when he performs the room stands still. Kalamandalam Vijayakumar has been performing internationally since 1982 when he toured with the Indian government sponsored Festival of India. He has the rare ability to reach into the heart of the audience through his passion, facial expressions and his remarkable emotions. It has been said that when he comes on stage there is a presence that comes with him that takes the audience into the depth of a Kathakali play. I pay tribute to these wonderful people who are bringing quality authentic Kathakali to the people of this country.
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Kathakali is one of the most powerful forms of sacred storytelling in the world.