Dance Company Brings the Magic and Spectacle of Ancient Rituals to Wales; EDUCATION WALES

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Byline: Education Editor Moira Sharkey

STUDENTS got a lesson in ancient temple rituals with the help of a performance by the world's foremost Indian dance drama company.

Kala Chethena Kathakali Company flew 5,000 miles to perform their unique combination of ritualistic visual artistry at the Caerleon Campus of the University of Wales, Newport.

The performance followed a visit to India by staff and students on the Religious Studies and Philosophy course in 2007. When they first encountered Kathakali in Kollam, southern Kerala, the group were so struck by the performance and elaborate costumes that Dr Lynn Foulston, programme leader for the Religious Studies and Philosophy degree course was inspired to invite a Kathakali company to perform in Wales where the people of Newport could enjoy the spectacular display.

"We were delighted to host the Kala Chethena Kathakali Company at Newport's University as part of their national tour of the UK," said Dr Foulston. "The company offered the people of South Wales a rare chance to experience a visually-stimulating ancient art-form which originated in the temples of Kerala, south-west India, hundreds of years ago. …