Dances Of Kerala

Kerala has many graceful and beautiful dance forms in the world. Dance is an integral part of our culture and is associated with ceremonies, rituals and celebrations. Broadly there are three forms of dances : Folk dance, Dance drama and Semi- classical.


Kathakali is a highly appreciated  classical dance drama  of Kerala and most recognizable dance form of India .The word ‘katha’ means  ‘Story’ and ‘kali’ means ‘Play’,thus Kathakali  basically is a story play.The characters of Kathakali dorn attractive make up, very elaborate colourful costume, which includes a headgear , billowing skirt and plentiful ornaments. The characters are broadly classified into four types namely ; Paccha(green) , Kathi(knife), Thadi(Beard), Minak(Radiant) depending upon their qualities.



 Koodiyattam is a part of Sanskrit Theatre Art.Koodiyattam is enacted inside temple theatre – the Koothambalam.Its costumes is a blend of brilliant colours mostly red, black and white.The important musical instruments used in Kodiyattam are Mizavu, Kuzhitalam, Kurumkuzhal and Sankhu.



Theyyam is a popular folk dance form performed in Malabar region of Kerala for thousands of year. It’s a sacred ritual dance performed to glorify the goddess Kaali.It is a Dravidian art form and is quite popular due to its accessibility to lower castes.



 Mohiniyattam is a classical dance form with graceful movements performed only by women.The dance movements are gentle, similar to the sway movements of palm leaves, with mesmerizing eye movements.

Thiruvathirakali or Kaikottikali


A very popular group dance of Kerala.Its performed by the women of Hindu community on festive season of Onam and Thiruvathira .Women move in circle and dance rythimically around a nilavilaku(lamp) or floral decoration , to the tune of thiruvathira songs.



 Ottamthullal is a kind of performing art created during the 18th century by legendry Malayalam poet Kalakkat Kunjan Nambiar.This is a single actor performance with colourful costumes and green make-up,presenting a story . 

Oppana Dance

Oppana is a famed form of social entertaintment among the muslim community especially in the North of Kerala , presented by females and musicians on the previous day of wedding . The dancers move around the bride singing songs in chorus.Harmonium,Tabla, Ganjira and Elathalam are the musical instruments used for this performance. Only Mappalla pattu will be sung for the oppana. 



Is a very ancient ritual folk dance performed by the Syrian Christians of Kerala. Twelve dancers representing the twelve apostles ,dance around a traditional oil lamp(nilavilaku) which represents Christ. Performers wear tradition Christian Chorous. Margamkali is famous among the Syrian Christian in Kottayam and Trichur,performed for weddings and other celebration.

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