The politics of roar: towards a female kathakali

Madhavan, Arya (2015) The politics of roar: towards a female kathakali. In: IFTR Conference 2015 - Hyderabad, India, 6-10 July 2015, India.

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


This paper critically examines the patriarchal structure of kathakali to determine the gender partialities that it has exercised for the last four centuries through the lens of female ‘roar,’ one of the very few vocal expressions in Kathakali by certain character types. Roar is the signature of the highly popular male characters in kathakali, such as Keechaka, Ravana or Duryodhana. Neither female characters nor noble male characters roar; but the roaring kathi (knife) characters as above are often the most popular in kathakali repertory. In all female kathakali performances women who perform roaring characters do roar, but a female roar is always received with an element of speculation.  This paper treats the female roar, the least discussed performative element of kathakali, as a feminist metaphorical revolutionary act in the 21st century kathakali. In turn, it will help me to weigh the significance of the female intervention into the contemporary kathakali.

Keywords:gender, female subjectivity, Indian Theatre, Women and Kathakali, gender politics
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W440 Theatre studies
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Performing Arts)
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ID Code:26575
Deposited On:01 Mar 2017 13:10

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