Krishna Praveen, V. Anitha Devi
The term Kathakali has by far become a word that is known widely among theatre lovers all over the world. It is no longer an art intended to perform within the four walls of a temple in Kerala, with only a limited educated upper class to appreciate. In its evolution, it has become a symbol that represents a society, culture and tradition. This paper explores Kathakali art form, tracing its origin and evolution and analyzing how it hasbecome a socio-cultural icon. The paper also intends a comparative analysis of Kathakali with its counterparts – Krishnanaattam, Koodiyattam and Yakshagana – in order to substantiate its pre-eminence.