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.”