Glances and Expressions


“The Art of Explaining Emotions Through Expressions”

“Koodiyattam is the oldest form of theater and drama of Kerala at more than 2000 years. It is a highly complex theater language repeated with elaborate traditional hand gestures and facial expressions. It is declared by UNESCO as”master piece of the oral expressions and heritage of humanity. Koodiyattam is practiced in Koothamabalam which is a traditional temple theater. As Koodiyattam’s traditional taste progressed, many artists put their effort to present this art outside the traditional theater, so as to show the world what Koodiyattam really is.”

Examining Koodiyattam’s Magnificence: An Intriguing Art Form

As a long-standing and highly respected art form, koodiyattam uses the mysterious Abhinaya power to enthrall audiences with meaningful movements and expressions. It is a performing art form with roots in classical Sanskrit scriptures that skillfully combines a wide range of emotions and narratives.


Look : A look in to the face of Koodiyattam

Abhinaya: Koodiyattam’s Soul

The fundamental component of Koodiyattam is Abhinaya. With the use of mudras, or wordless hand and eye gestures, it reveals stories, feelings, and characters. Through delicate gestures and subtle facial expressions, this art form skillfully conveys messages.


Bhavas : The Expressions of Nangiyar in Koodiyattam

Nirvaham: A Deep Gesture Communication

In Koodiyattam, Nirvaham is used to expose personalities in a way that is incredibly engrossing. Hand and eye gestures are used to vividly portray each character, giving the narrative more depth and realism.

Nangiyar Kuthu : Female Artiste in Koodiyattam

The Nine Expressions of Navarasam

Navarasam, the cornerstone of Koodiyattam, consists of nine different face expressions. A variety of feelings and messages are communicated to the audience by each expression, such as Sringaram, Hasyam, Karuna, Raudram, Veeram, Bhayankaram, Bibhalsam, Adbutham, and Santham.


Diversity of Faces : Koodiyattam artist revealing his talents

Sringaram: A Story of Desire and Love

Sringaram comes in two varieties: Sambhoga Sringaram and Vipralambha Sringaram. Both versions depict the core of love between people. While the latter portrays the anguish of separation, the former expresses passionate yearning and love.

sringara- govind

Sringara : The romantic facial expressions in Koodiyattam

Hasyam: Accepting Joy

Hasyam, who is the epitome of humor, rules this term. The portrayal uses a careful and nuanced arrangement of face characteristics to elicit joy and contentment from the viewer.

Karuna: Expressing Anguish and Feelings

Karuna is the symbol for expressing grief, which frequently arises from loss, separation, or unfavorable circumstances. To illustrate the profundity of these feelings, the performer carefully displays facial expressions.

Raudram: The Expression of Aggression and Violence

Raudram portrays the unadulterated feelings of hostility, violence, and conflict. The performer’s tightened teeth, quivering lips, and wide-open eyes all powerfully convey these tremendous emotions.

Veeram: The Heroic Spirit

Veeram is the embodiment of bravery, courage, and combat preparation. It depicts bravery in a striking way and stands for strength, daring, and a heroic mindset.

Bhayankaram: The Apprehensive Expectation

The sense of terror and the expectation of impending peril are well captured by Bhayankaram. Extreme terror is conveyed by the performer’s expressions, which include shaking features and dilated eyes.

Bibhalsam: Fundamental Emotional Description

Jugunsa captures the spirit of Bibhalsam with dramatic, exaggerated facial expressions that elicit strong feelings from the viewer and weave an engaging story.


Bibhasta : Art of facial expressions combined

Adbutham: Wonder’s Manifestation

Adbutham displays astonishment and wonder. The performer captivates the audience with awe-inspiring expressions of happiness and wonder.

Santham: Calm and Serenity

Santham is the embodiment of calmness and contentment, a mind free from worldly ambitions. A genuine serenity is conveyed by the actor’s composed demeanor and tranquil expressions.

The facial expression and makeups in these types of ancient arts is enriched with the art

Alluring in Koodiyattam

A distinctive art form, koodiyattam skillfully combines the several rasas to create captivating narratives that are conveyed through hand gestures, eye movements, and facial emotions. Audiences are in awe of the ageless beauty and power of this ancient art form as it conveys significant emotions and stories

All the photos and text in this post are copyright of Govind Raj , Ernakulam , Kerala Creative Hut Institute of Photography .Their reproduction, full or part, is forbidden without the explicit approval of the rightful owners.

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