Theyyam or Theyattam is
a popular ritual dance of Malabar viz North Kerala. Kannur can rightly
be termed as the birth place or womb of Theyyam. Theyyam is a corrupt
form of Theyyam or God. It’s a unique combination of dance, music and
also reflects the main features of a tribal culture. It’s a religion
based ritual dance. The Theyyam performance
has an aura of divine splendour as it’s accompanied by rituals and
other devotional hymns. Its indeed an unprecedented experience to watch
this dance symbolising the ultimate power. The impact is tremendous when
the performer feels that for those moments he is the Supreme identifying
himself as the aphorism in Jnana Yoga ; Aham Brahmasmi viz I am Brahmin.
Its a moment of total synthesis. This will reinforce the total faith in
the Supreme, as Jesus said in the Bible, "Faith can move
This folk art has a
myth ; the age-old belief that Goodness destroys evil. Every Theyyam
symbolises a holy purpose as declared by Lord Krishna in Bhagwad Gita.
Kalaripayattu is the
ancient martial art of the State. It is considered as the forerunner of
all martial arts like Karate and Kung Fu. Rigorous physical training besides training in
self discipline. The weapons used are the sword, dagger, short
sticks and spears. The coordination of body and mind is given maximum
importance. Kalaripayattu has
contributed to the traditional art and dance forms of Kerala namely
Kathakali, Koodiyattam and Theyyam.
Kalarichikitsa : It’s
given by the Gurukkal to the students who are devoted and versatile in
learning Kalaripayattu. Full body oil massage :
Uzhichill and Pizhichal ; it’s used as aid to attain suppleness of the
body, specially prepared medicated oils are also used. Marmachikitsa : This is
used for treating the injuries caused on the vital regions of the human
body which may even lead to death. The knowledge of Marmas is very
essential for effective treatment.
Mohiniyattam - The dance of enchantress
The first reference to Mohiniyattam is in Vyavaharamala composed by Mayamangalam
Narayanan Namboodiri in 1709 AD. Mohiniyattam’s movements are reminiscent of swaying palm trees and the undulating wavesof the ocean. A major landmark in the evolution of Mohiniyattam was the reign of Maharaja Swathi Tirunal in the 19th century. Just as every art form experiences its phases of revival and neglect, Mohiniyattam too emerged from an eclipsed state. The early years of the 20th century saw the renaissance of all the classical dance traditions of India. Meanwhile a parallel cultural revival was taking place in Kerala in 1935, the great poet Vallathol Narayana Menon established Kalamandalam to revive and popularize Mohiniyattam.
Due to concerted efforts of dance researchers and the performers themselves, Mohiniyattam is today acknowledged as one of the most prominent dance forms of India. It has also found international recognition.
is a classical dance form of South India, said to be originated in
Thanjavoor of Tamil Nadu. It is one of the most subtle, sophisticated
and graceful styles of dance art in the World. It was known as ‘Dasiyattam’,
since performed by devadasies in temples of Tamil Nadu long ago.
Bharathanatyam is derived from three basic concepts of Bhava, Raaga and
Thaala. It is one of the proudest possessions in our heritage, having
survived for nearly 3000 years, almost intact in all the variegated
splendor of the forms and moods, which it has gathered through the
centuries. It is performed mostly as a solo dance. Bharathanatyam is
perhaps the oldest among the dance styles of India. The music of
Bharathanatyam is based on Carnatic classical music. The instruments
used are Veena, Flute, Mridangam and Violin. The costume is pajama and
jacket of Kanchipuram silk and Banaras silk. The dancer wears a lot of
ornaments of shining stones on neck, ears, hands and head, jasmine
garland in the hair and foot trinket with small bells. Bharathanatyam is
a highly structured and scientific discipline and demands years of
devoted study, before one can claim to have even a little mastery over
literally meaning story-play, is a dance drama originated in the 17th
Century in Kerala. Though Kathakali is only 30 years old, a great deal
of enrichment and refinement has taken place in every aspect of its
technique. Scholars are of opinion that Kathakali is the result of a
fusion between all Indian theatre tradition represented by ‘Koodiyattam’
and the indigenous tradition of folk dance forms.
Kathakali is a
dance drama in which a high degree of stylization is seen in the method
of acting presentation, make-up and costuming. In olden days Kathakali
performances mostly took place on a temple premises or at the house of
the local land lord. The make-up and costuming is a very important
factor of this dance drama. Such an elaborate system is rarely found
elsewhere. A major part of the face make-up is done by the actor
himself. However specially trained artists are entrusted to apply Chutty
( framing the face with white paper and rice paste). So this theater
form is a combination of dance, music, percussion, acting and painting.
an exquisite folk art form performed traditionally among the Muslim
community in Kerala. The song and dance programme is performed by
females to entertain the bride and by males to entertain the bridegroom.
Harmonium, Tabla and Gangra are the musical instruments used. The songs
are based on the mappila pattu.
It is mostly
performed at the wedding sessions and festivities of the Malabar
Muslims. Maidens and young female relatives sing and dance around the
bride, clapping their hands. Mappila songs are first sung by the leader
and then repeated by the chorus. This gives Oppana dance a rhythm of
folklore music. The themes are often teasing comments about the bride’s
anticipated nuptial bliss. Oppana is a well recognized art form. Oppana
is often presented as a stage item today. It is quite popular in the
school and college youth festivals.