Kamsa and Duryodhana Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 08:26:25
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Category: Chundanga

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There are more specific representation of the variations of the main colors in the facial make up of the Kathakali characters. The light green color represents sringara, red raudra (or the mood of ferocity) and yellow adbuta (Webindia123. com). Pink, with some yellow, can be seen in Minukku make up that denotes positive and humble characteristics. The make up is expected to generate a particular effect.

When seen individually worn by each and every character in the play, the make up is expected to create an effect that allows the colors of the make up in the face to communicate to the audience. When the character is angry or evil, the make up of the face is designed specifically so that the audience can feel the evil and hatred inside the character. These colors also help in the creation of the auras of the characters. Soft colors on the face of the characters give a feeling that they are gentle characters; the same effect of heavy and powerful colors.

At some extent, the make up acts as the reflection of the soul of the characters; it is the energy that emanates from them as it is the aura which other people, both from the audience and from its co-actors on stage can see, detect and react to. As a group, these colors are designed to group the characters. The audience can immediately detect the affinity and alliance of each and every one of the character based on the colors they wear on their faces. This is important because the audience should be able to understand the roles of the individuals and how each and every individual act as friend or foe to another.

Most importantly, the colors of the make up in Kathakali plays are designed to improve the overall atmosphere inside the theater or coliseum where the play is being enacted. While lights, sounds and other effects are the ones responsible for setting the tone, the colors in the make up help making the audience feel like they are somewhere ethereal, like sitting down in a coliseum of the gods, which is the case since Kathakali features many different god-like characters in the play.

While some of the aspects of make up for Kathakali performance may seem less of a mystery to make up artists who have previous experience working in theater arts companies performing ethnic plays that require extensive facial make-up, one of the secrets of the Kathakali make up is how the dancers were able to make the white of their eyes turn to red for the performance. This is not a result of the lighting style or other visual effects. This is the product of the exact use of chundanga seeds.

Chundanga, variety of eggplant that produces small fruits, produces something which is seed-like which in turn is processed by make artists before putting in the lower eyelid of the dancers and other characters that require the same eye effect. The preparation of this seed-like item from Chundanga includes the removal of the ovaries at the base of the flower of this particular plant. The Chundanga seeds are then rubbed on the palm until the white color turns to black that indicates the onset of dehydration of the seed.

The red eyes is included in the Kathakali performance for two reasons one, is to compliment the colors of the face and secondly to protect the eyes from the chemical reaction caused by the presence of paint all over the face. But the red eye effect is just one of the many colors the characters wear on their faces during a Kathakali performance. But the other facial make up and color are not all taken from the Chundanga plant. Different pigments as well as mineral ores are some of the main sources of Kathakali make up.

How it is processed is no different from the style of other make up artists who depend largely on the use of organic and natural sources of make up and coloring materials that can be used and applied to the body, like the ones used by aboriginal artists and performers of ethnic performance arts. These materials are ground on a sturdy board or pestle usually made of stone or wood. Coconut oil is mixed with these ground mineral ores so that it can be applied easily and more effectively on the face.

Calcium carbonate and rice paste are also mixed by make up artists so that the facial enhancements necessary for the characters and the play can be accomplished. The mixture made from rice past and calcium carbonate is used so that the elaborate paper cuttings needed to extend or exaggerate some parts of the face can be pasted on the face and hold together for the duration of the play. Making the ingredients for the make-up is just as important as applying the make up itself. The mixing of these colors and grinding of the stones another art, which again needs sense of proportion and precision.

A wrong proportion could give a wrong chemical reaction, which could affect even the face and eyes of the actor. (V. P. Dhananjayan). Make up artists should remember that the make up that they are going to apply will take not less than three hours to apply and will be worn by the actors for not less than two hours at least. One of the advantages of technology is the Internet. The make up artist can look at photographs and videos available in the internet for an idea how the Kathakali characters look like.

It is also a source for textual readings which make up artist can use as reference. Kathakali make up demands perfection from the make up artists since actors are expected to appear on stage as different persons. The Kathakali make up is an important process in the recreation of an entirely different being. Like all forms of art, Kathakali make up cannot be perfected overnight. To achieve perfection, exercise professionalism. Arrive on time and come in prepared. Listen to what people around you have to say but make sure to stick to what you have learned and to what you need to do.

Bibliography: Kathakali Make-Up (2000). Webindia123. com. Available from: [Accessed 3 January 2008] The Art of Kathakali Make Up. Rediff. com. Available from: [Accessed 3 January 2008] Dhananjayan, V. P. Kathakali Costume & Make-up. A Dancer on Dance. Bharata Kalanjali. Available from: [Accessed 3 January 2008].

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