Dances of Kerala include Kathakali, Mohiniattam and Thullal. Besides these, Theyyam, Koothu, Krishnanattom and Koottiyattam are also practiced in Kerala. The traditional dance forms mainly draw inspiration from the ancient texts and epics. Hence the subjects of these performances are episodes from various legends and myths of India.
Kathakali is one of the most well known dance forms in Kerala. It would be more appropriate to term Kathakali as dance-drama. This form of art involves flamboyance and lot of toil. This form of dance involves a unique combination ballet, pantomime, opera and masque. Kathakali dancers dance with elaborately painted faces and embellished headgears. Great significance is laid upon the make-up or ‘Vesham’ which are essentially of five different types like Pacha, Kathi, Thadi, Kari and Minukka.
Mohiniattam is believed to be the dance of enchantress. Superficially Mohiniattam resembles the Tamil classical dance, Bharatnatyam, but it is less complex in its mime, and, in comparison, rustically vigorous and angular. It is a very ancient dance, originally practised by women of the Nambiar caste and associated with the temples; outside the sanctuary of the 12th-century temple at Trivikramangalam there are relief carvings of sacred dancers who are found to be performing an early type of Mohiniattam. This type of dance consists of some of the characteristics of Kuchipudi, Odissi and Bharatnatyam. Mohiniyattam dance is said to explain the story of a mythological character named Mohini and the dance steps are quite graceful. The songs sung while performing this dance is generally in Malayalam and Carnatic.
Thiruvathirakali is performed by the womenfolk belonging to Hindu community. This is a beautiful group dance of Kerala and is done during festivals like the ‘Thiruvathira’ day as well as Onam. Dancers follow a circular form of movement while doing this dance and clap their dance.To know more read: