All Stories in Nostalgic Kerala Arts & Festivals

Ochirakali

Ochirakali

Ochirakali, a festival of martial arts, is performed as a part of the annual festival of Parabrahma Temple at Ochira in Kollam District. It is conducted in memory of the battle fought between the kings of two feudal principalities – Kayamkulam and Ambalapuzha. The festival …

Parayan Thullal

Parayan Thullal

This has a slow narrative style for singing, with slow graceful elegant steps, movements and hand gestures. The make-up of a Parayan is very simple except for an ornamental headgear and a red cloth round his waist. The dancer smears the body with charcoal paste.

Seethankan Thullal

Seethankan Thullal

It has metres of medium cadence for the songs used and rhythm to suit. In contrast to the picturesque appearance of the dancer in Ottam Thullal, the dancer in Seethankam Thullal has his face unpainted, except for a few black lines, on the eyebrows and …

Ottan Thullal

Ottan Thullal

It consists of a variety of rapid metres well suited for amusing narratives and it is vigorous in execution. The Thullal actor who represents this type has a fascinating costume. His face is painted green. With a round headgear of multi-coloured tinsel and gold, a …

Nangiar Koothu

Nangiar Koothu

Nanniar Koothu is a dance form conducted in some prominent Kerala temples purely as a ceremonial ritual, presented by women only. The Nanniars, who are the womenfolk of the Nambiar community, stage the Nanniar Koothu in a hereditary tradition. The plot of the Nanniar Koothu …

Aravanamuttu

Aravanamuttu

Aravanamuttu is also known as Duffmuttu . It is a group performance popular among the Muslims of Malabar. Duffmuttu is staged as a social event during festivals and nuptial ceremonies. The artistes beat on a quaint round percussion instrument called the Duffu, the leader of …

Chakkyar Kootthu

Chakkyar Kootthu

Also known as kootthu, this art was earlier performed only by people belonging to the Chakyar community. The performance is essentially a narration of stories taken from mythology using elaborate expressions and dance. It is delivered with the accompaniment of cymbals and mizhavu (a special …

Mudiyattom Kali

Mudiyattom Kali

This is also a dance form rendered by women folk. The participants unlock their hair and engage themselves in frantic dancing. This is usually in rhythm with the accompaniments that are played along with the folk songs recited.

Oppana

Oppana

Dance form essential to the wedding entertainment and festivities of the Malabar Muslims. Maidens and young female relatives sing and dance around the bride, clapping their hands. The songs of Mappilappattu, are first sung by the leader and are repeated by the chorus. The themes …

Thiruvathirakali

Thiruvathirakali

Thiruvathirakali is a dance performed by women, in order to attain everlasting marital bliss, on Thiruvathira day in the Malayalam month of Dhanu (December- January). The dance is a celebration of marital fidelity and the female energy, for this is what brought Kamadeva (the god …

Krishnanattom

Krishnanattom

This art form, the precursor of Kathakali, is rarely staged outside the temple town of Guruvayur. The only troupe that performs Krishnanattom is the Guruvayur Kshetra Kalanilayam In Krishnanattom, the tale of Lord Krishna is told over eight days. The episodes are `Avataram’, `Kaliyamardanam’, `Rasakreeda’, …

Koodiyattom

Koodiyattom

Koodiyattam is a dance traditionally enacted in temples. Koodiyattam is Kathakali’s 2000 year old predecessor and is offered as a votive offering to the deity. Kootiyattam literally means “acting together”. This is the earliest classical dramatic art form of Kerala. Based on Sage Bharatha’s ‘Natyasasthra’ …