Kerala has rich
heritage of such dances, important among them being
Koodiatam, KKrishnattam, Mohini Attam and Ottan Thullal.
The first two contributed to the evolution of Kathakali,
and they are still largely staged within certain temples
and on occasions of religious festivity.
Mohini Attam, in its
pristine form, is classical tradition in its own right,
While Ottan Thullal is a solo dance, often humorous and
satirical, with traces of color and gorgeousness of
In Tamil Nadu, there are two classical dances related to
Bharata Natym tradition:
One is Bhagavata Mela, dance-drama performed by women
traditionally only in the time of certain temple
A form of the dance-drama, similar to Bhagavata Mela,
exists in Andhra Pradesh, and this is known as Kuchipudi,
in honor of the village in which this tradition is
Originally these dance-dramas were performed only by men,
but in 20th century women too have taken to it, the most
notable example being of Yamini Krishnamurti.
Another tradition of dance-drama in South is represented
by Yakshagana, which belongs to Karnataka and South Kanara.
Though essentially a form of folk theatre, Yakshagana
patterns itself after the forms of classical dance and
dance-drama obtaining in neighboring regions of Andhra
Pradesh and Kerala.