Kathakali, an important part of Kerala temple and cultural festivals is a classical dance drama said to be originated during the 16th century AD. It is a stylish dance which is famous for its make-up of the characters, splendid costumes, gestures and refined body movements performed with the tune of the playback music and rhythm of the drum.

Kathakali, the spectacular dance drama is based on the guidelines put down by Natya Sastra, the ancient treatise on dance and drama. The costumes are colorful which aim to give a phenomenal effect. The actors enact the story of the myths and scriptures through hand gestures, refined movements and facial expressions. There are about 101 classical stories of Kathakali, in recent time to popularize this dance drama, many stories of Bible and other classics have been adapted into Kathakali scripts. Kathakali dance has some similarities shared with the classical arts like Krishnanattam, Koodiyatam, and it borrowed some elements from the ritualistic arts like Theyyam, Padayani, Thiyattu, etc.

The five elements of fine art which combine in the dance of Kathakali are expressions (Natyam, facial expressions), dance (Nritham, the component of dance with movements of body, hands and legs), enactment (Nrithyam, mudras or hand gestures which are component of drama), Song (Geetha) and instrument (Vadyam)