Corporeality of taste: Kudiyattam, and the facial expression of taste

Madhavan, Arya (2016) Corporeality of taste: Kudiyattam, and the facial expression of taste. In: IFTR 2016, 13-17 June 2016, Stockholm, Sweden.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Presentation)
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

How is taste facially expressed? Is there a well-defined methodology for expressing taste? Indian theatre offers elaborate description of the emotional expressions that hand, face and eyes, collectively and independently produce. Natyasastra, for instance, boards exhaustive directions on the ways an actor can use her eyes, face or hands. Kudiyattam, the Indian Sanskrit theatre form from India has explored the functions of eyes and face to such an extent that almost any emotions, humanly possible to experience, can be facially expressed. But, neither Natyasastra nor Kudiyattam provide detailed description on the expression of taste through face and body. Even the hand gestures are limited to food or eating in Kudiyattam, and almost nothing exists to help an actor to facially express any of the five tastes. Why is that? Is there scope to create new facial patters to express sweetness, saltiness, sourness, bitterness or indeed, spiciness? When we express these tastes do our facial patterns change accordingly? Moreover, is there a difference in facial expression of bitterness, for instance, between two people who like bitterness and the other who does not? Is the expression of taste culture specific? And finally, could these queries potentially inform and contribute to the expression of tastes in the Indian theatre practice, specifically Kudiyattam? This paper attempts to address these questions in a really experimental way by interweaving practice into it.

Keywords:kutiyattam, Indian theatre, facial acting, Emotional expression, Taste and expression
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W440 Theatre studies
W Creative Arts and Design > W410 Acting
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Performing Arts)
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ID Code:26486
Deposited On:27 Feb 2017 15:37

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