From the mask that Hrithik Roshan donned in Krrish (2006) to the one that Salman Khan wore for his film Kick (2015), all have been popular. In India’s rich cultural tradition – where masks are as popular in Indian folk and martial dances (such as Kathakali and Chhau) as Bollywood – an ongoing exhibition of 33 masks from Mexico, will transport you to a carnivalesque setting.
Carved out of wood, ceramic, metal, fabric or plastic, most of the masks displayed in this exhibition are used for dance-drama performances in Mexico. “In these theatre performances, dancers and audiences recreate sacred myths, legends and historical events,” says Pria informing that the mask cultures of India and Mexico have many similarities. “In both the countries, the mask-making industry began by demands of religious functions, folk, dance and theatre.”
Some of the masks showcased at the exhibition, are used as part of performances and can be identified with their devilled appearance or vibrant colours. Take for instance, Danza de los Viejitos (Dance of the Old Men) from Michoacán. “It is a humorous dance where the dancers wear masks of old people along with their typical campesino clothing. Other popular dances include the Dance of Tecuanes, from the state of Guerrero, or the Dance of Negritos, from the state of Veracruz,” adds Pria.
Mask with wooden beads
Masks of Mexico Exhibition
Venue: India International Centre, Lodhi Estate
On Till: July 31
Timings: 11am to 7pm
Nearest Metro Station: Jor Bagh on Yellow Line