He is the love interest of Naksathundi , the servant of Nakasakura (Demon King))
Before I go further into the play’s story, let me provide a brief description of Kathakali, the art form of this performance,
Kathakali – This is a 400 year old performing art of Kerala , a combination of dance, theatre, music percussion. and mime. The make-up and costumes have significant roles, telling the story through exaggerated facial expressions, hand-gestures and movement of eyes. In fact, the eyes are not only accentuated with bright garish makeup, but the whites of the eyes are made to be bright red by inserting eggplant seeds in them prior to the performance. Ouch.
There are no words spoken or sung – all emotion and action is displayed through facial, arm, leg and body motions which are quite extraordinary as you will see in a moment. And all of the parts, male and female are performed by men.
Kathakali plays tell the stories from Indian epics such as Ramayana and Mahabharata. The 200 characters in Kathakali symbolize the three mythological worlds: heaven, earth and the netherworld. It takes between three and five hours for the actors to apply their facial makeup. The plays themselves are quite long – up to 6 to 8 hours to present the complete version of a Kathakali play.
Before the very shortened play commenced, we were given a primer of the kinds of eye, hand, leg and body moments we were to see to help us understand the ploy. Here are a few:
I actually felt pain watching the artist dance on the sides of his feet:
I did not film the actual play as I wanted to fully enjoy the experience – and it was mesmerizing. I totally recommend visiting Kerala/Kumarakom and seeing Kathakali in person.
Here is a synopsis of this play:
Kathakali Story – Nasakasura Vadham
Nakasakura (Demon King) orders Naksathundi – his servant to kidnap some heavenly ladies for his amusement. The servant complies. While returning she sees Jayanthan (Green character) sitting in a garden. At the first sight she falls in love with him. She begs him to accept her as his wife, but Jayanthan doesn’t agree. Their dialogue leads to fighting.
At the end of the fighting Jayanthan defeats the servant and cuts off her ears, nose and breasts
Guess he was just not into her.