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The mudras (hand gestures) used as a substitute for spoken language
are as much suited, if not more, for the purpose of dance and drama.
To the accompaniment of the chenda, the maddalam, the chengala and
the elethalam the musicians sing the words of a dialogue from behind,
the meaning of which is vividly translated by the actors into the
silent language of facial expressions, bodily attitudes and poses
and figurations of the hands. As these songs proceed, the actors
mute of word but eloquent of expression recreate the epic and bring
to life a dream world to sheer fantasy. The actors act and dance
in harmony with the rhythm as well as with the sense of the songs.
The mudras form and inseparable part of the nrithya and abhinaya.