In 2010, over 130 Anthropology and Drama students at Queens University Belfast joined up to take part in Kathakali: Performing Emotions. The event consisted of a series of lectures, tutorials and a workshop over a three week period in February 2010. The project was delivered by Mark Phelan (Drama) Maruška Svašek (Anthropology), and two artists from the professional Kala Chethena Kathakali Troupe, Kalamandalam Vijayakumar, a Kathakali actor, and Kalamandalam Barbara Vijayakumar, a Kathakali make up specialist.
The event offered a
rare first hand experience of how non-textual elements of theatre (music,
costume and make-up) are crucial to this Eastern performance tradition in terms
of providing rhythm, emotion and description. It provided a fascinating introduction
to a completely different cultural tradition of theatre, performance, emotion,
and identity by challenging Western attitudes and values.