Krishnattam Dancer

Krishnattam is the ancient, classical dance drama from which the popular, modern Kathakali performing art evolved. As silent performances carried out in mime, both disciplines require the artists to perfect hundreds of highly stylized facial expressions and symbolic hand gestures, or mudras. Each performance begins with the actors addressing the audience and each other with namaskar--a gesture in which palms are pressed together in prayer--like position close to the chest. Namaskar, or namaste, is the traditional Indian greeting posture of respect. It means, “I salute the god in you.”

Guruvayoor, Kerala

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