ICK has been a premier institute known as much for its school as much as for the original productions. The teachers at the center come from famous schools of Kathakali like Kalamandam, Sadanam, Kalabharathi, Kalanilayam, Kottakkal etc.

The ICK has a large number of Indian and foreign students. Currently about 250 students are undergoing training in different fields of Kathakali, such as Dance, Vocal, Percussion (Chenda, Maddalam, Edakka), Chutti makeup and costumes. The ICK has study centers in different parts of Delhi and around.

We perform in Temples, Sangeet Natak Akademi, Indian Council for Cultural Relation, Sahitya Kala Parishad and also at art festivals, conferences and other cultural events in India and abroad along with performances in schools, Colleges for our young audiences.

Performance abroad: The troupe has performed abroad extensively in more than 150 cities, in different continents, such as South East Asia, Europe, North &South America, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand.

Admissions to all courses are open throughout the year. In Kerala, Vijaya Dashami or Dussehra is considered an auspicious day to begin an education in the Arts. While students are encouraged to start their training in Kathakali on the day, but the Centre enrolls students through the year.

Kathakali Vesham

Kathakali dance-drama

Kathakali is choreography as much as it is acting. A training in the Kathakali dance-drama form includes dance as well as nuanced acting lessons preparing students to play larger than life characters on stage. The actors emote and express by means of Mudhras (hand gestures) and facial expressions. Mudras from a language for communication in Kathakali. These are combined with the Nava Rasas, the nine basic facial expressions that help the artist to emote. Along with this, the dance movements are juxtaposed. The ICK has senior artists who are experienced teachers who conduct classes of students across the city of Delhi.

Kathakali Music

Kathakali plays are written in verse and the language is a mixture of Malayalam and Sanskrit called Manipravalam. The music, vocal and orchestra, from an integral part of Kathakali performances. Kathakali Sangeetham or Kathakali music is a specialized form where ragas set to Carnatic music tradition with a distinct style of rendition called ‘Sopanam’ style. Training is provided by well-known vocalists established in Kathakali Sangeetham.

Kathakali Chutty

Kathakali Make-up

Kathakali make up is one of the most elaborate form of makeup and costumes including facial make up and head dresses. The unique and very colourful costumes have been created with the intention to give the characters a super natural look. During three centuries of their development, these costumes have been influenced by exotic features and foreign elements like a traditional Egyptian head scarf for female characters, waist ornaments from Babylonia, a special type of crown from the Rajas of India, the Krishna Crown from the king of Burma to name a few. It takes great skill and several hours of to create the chutty and apply the makeup. The makeup is highly evolved that helps identify the characters of a story, symbolized in its pattern and colours. The ICK provides highly specialized training in Kathakali Chutty.

Kathakali Chenda

The percussion instruments used in Kathakali are Chenda, Maddalam and Edkka. Chenda, the percussion instrument that is played in temples and accompanies a Kathakali performance. Senior teachers at ICK provide training in Chenda.

Important Information

Course Location: All courses are conducted at the Kathakali Centre.

Some courses are also conducted at certain pre-decided locations in Delhi.
You can find the details of the location within the course information.

Training Program

All the trainings are given based on the syllabi of Pracheen Kala Kendra. Classes are conducting for Junior Diploma, Diploma, Degree courses for Kathakali. Pracheen Kala kendra will conduct yearly examinations.