Kochi: Prince Charles and his wife Camilla Parker Bowles Monday commenced their four day Kerala visit by first taking a stroll down the state’s rich cultural history at the Kerala Folklore Museum and Theatre at nearby Thevara.
The royal couple were garlanded by the museum owners—— Jacob George and his wife Anne George and their two children, who took them on a tour around the private museum, which is a treasure trove showcasing the rich heritage of Kerala.
Prince Charles and his wife removed their shoes just as they entered the museum, declined to take the lift and instead climbed 50—odd wooden steps of the three strayed structure.
Two artistes performed ‘Kathakali’, the classical dance drama of Kerala, depicting the slaying of demon Narakasura ’Narakasura Vadham’ leaving the visitors mesmerised. This was followed by ‘Kalaripayattu’ (Martial art form of the state).
The show was organised by the Tourism department.
After the performance, Prince Charles asked the Kathakali artistes about their costumes which weigh around 35 kg.
The Prince of Wales wanted to know how the Kathakali artists are able to control all their muscles and their ’extraordinary expressions’, the artistes said.
Prince Charles told them he had enjoyed the programme, but that it was ‘too short’, the artistes said.
A Bharatanatyam performance by ‘Paris’ Laxmi, a French dancer who has made Kerala her home since 2011 after marrying Kathakali artist Pallipuram Sunil was also held.
“The Royal couple were pleased with the footwork and facial expressions and they spoke a few words to me in French saying ‘unbelievable’, Laxmi told PTI after her performance.
The museum houses masks and sculptures in wood, stone and bronze, costumes of traditional and ritual art forms, musical instruments, traditional jewellery, manuscripts of rare medicinal and astrological secretes and stone age utensils.
Costumes of traditional art forms and various rituals of Kerala like Theyyam, Kathakali, Ottanthullal, Mohinattam amd mural paintings are also showcased at the museum.