Countries: Asia

Southern Classical Forms

India: Heritage of Dances

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 Kathakali.

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 festivals.

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 rooted. 

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.





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