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Dances of Kerala


Kerala is the heritage state of India, which still has preserved the culture and traditions of the centuries. The various dance forms of the state are one of the major prototype of its rejuvenate culture and tradition. Its brilliant folk dances reflect several moods and expressions, that illustrate a story. These dances are being performed in a group or solo, the beautiful costumes compliment the dance forms accordingly. These dances have always been an important part of celebrations, rituals, festivals and ceremonies etc. There are more than fifty dance forms, that increase the pride of Kerala. The most popular dance forms of the state are:
Kathakali
Kathakali is the best known dance form of Kerala as well as in the world of dance drama. It was originated around 500 years ago, which is one of the oldest theater forms in the world. In Malayalam language 'Kath' means story and 'Kali' means play, hence its precise meaning is "Story Play". Kathakali dance form is the rich amalgamation of dance, drama, music and ritual.

Theyyam
Theyyam is an excellent folk dance form of the state, which is also known as Kaliyattam or Thirayattam. The word Kaliyattam clears itself that it is a sacred dance form, dedicated to Goddess Kali. While Thira means village, as in the past time every village (thira) used to perform this dance form at the temple called 'kaavu'.

Mohiniattam
Mohiniattam is the dance form, popular as the dance of spiritual siren. This dance form is performed by only women and its soft movements and simple but graceful costumes make it the unique one. This dance form is performed on the classical carnatic music.

Koodiyattam
Koodiyattam means ''acting together'', it is a temple art. This is the most ancient as well as the only surviving traditional form of Sanskrit drama. According to the records this dance form was in practices in all the major temples of the state from 9th century. Before the 15th century this dance form completely came into existence.

Oppana Dance
Oppana dance is specifically performed by Muslim community of the state. It is basically a bridal group dance, which is being performed a day before the wedding ceremony. In Oppana dance, the young female relatives and friends of the bride dance around the bride and they also sing with clapping their hands.

Other Famous Dance Forms
Duffmuttu or Aravanmuttu, Kolkalli, Koothu, Krishnanattom, Thiruathirakkali, Tholppavakoothu, Chavittunatakom, Kuravarkali, Valakali etc.