:Among the classical performing arts of Kerala, Thullal is distinct
for its simplicity of presentation, wit and humour. It follows the
classical principles of Natyasasthra (a treatise on art compiled
in the 2nd century B.C).Ottanthullal is the most popular among its
three varieties. The other two are Seethankan and Parayan
Thullal. Thullal is a solo performance combining dance
and recitation. Staged during temple festivals, the performer explicates
the verses through expressive gestures. Themes are based on mythological
stories. Humour, satire and social criticism are the hallmarks of
this art form. The Thullal dancer is accompanied
by a singer who repeats the verses. The orchestra consists of the
Mridangam or the Thoppi Maddalam and a pair of cymbals.
Thullal was introduced in the 18th century by the
famous Malayalam poet Kunchan Nambiar (1705 - 1770). A satirist,
he is the man who brought literary wit and humour within the ken
of common man. His innovative satiric art form Ottanthullal reflected
his deep sense of social responsibility. Witticism and anecdotes
from the life of this genius have become part of the lores and legends
of the State.
There is an interesting story about the origin of
the Thullal. Nambiar, who used to play the Mizhavu, (a percussion
instrument) during Koothu performances, was once caught napping
during a performance and the annoyed Koothu player sent him off
the stage. To get his own back, the insulted young man created the
new art form overnight and presented it himself the next evening.
The audience were thrilled. However this story has been debated
by scholar ever since, who believe that it is impractical to create
a new art form Thullal overnight.
The Costume: The make up, though simple, is very much
akin to that of Kathakali. The actor wears a long tape of white
and red coloured clothes looped around the waist-string to form
a knee-long skirt. The chest-piece is adorned by various coloured
beads, glass and tinsel, and other ornaments. The face is painted
green, the lips, red and the eyes emphasised with black paint. The
headgear is colourful and richly decorated.
Other Arts of Kerala |
:Dance of Arjuna :Arjuna is said to have propitiated goddess Bhadrakaali
by a devotional presentation
Theeyattu :Ayyappan theeyattu performed at Sree Ayyappa temples
is one of the two classifications of the religious ritual art called
: A fine blend of social satire, mime and comedy, the Chakyarkoothu
is usually presented in the traditional temple theatre Koothambalam
in Kathakali :The vesham symbolically represents five classes,
Pacha (green) portrays noble protagonists, Kathi (knife) villainous,
thadi (beard), Kari (black) represents low characters and Minukku
(prettying up) women, sages, brahmins
: A Nangiyar women plays cymbal and occasionally recites the verses.
The musical element is very much suppressed in Koodiyattom
Thayambaka : It is a pleasure to watch the revered old man weave
magic with his hands moving in perfect synchronisation
: mask dance usually performed in the northern districts of Kerala
: The coloured powders used for the kalam are prepared from natural
: Kathakali the classical art form of Kerala is a spectacular blend
of dance, drama, mime and song and is over 300 year old
Training :They also have to undergo training in dance steps, body
movements, and the mudras or the art of conveying ideas and meanings
through hand gestures.
: The origin of Mohiniyattom is rooted in Hindu mythology. Legends
says that when the ocean of milk was churned to extract the elixir
of life and immortality, the demons made away with the divine brew
: A satirist, he is the man who brought literary wit and humour within
the ken of common man
: Pavakkathakali was so simple a version of the Kathakali
that it was welcomed by the illiterate, rural people for whom 'Kathakali'
was inaccessible owing to its complexity.
: Parichamuttukali is a group dance performed by men bearing swords
and shields and follows the movements and steps of Kalarippayattu.
: Paramparya is a curtain raiser to the treasure trove of the arts
and crafts tradition of India. The second annual exhibition was held
on the banks of Ashtamudi Lake
: The leading musicial instrument accompanying the art form is
called Parayan Chenda - a percussion instrument.
: Kadammanitta, Kadalimangalam, Neelamperur and Othara in Pathanamthitta
are famous for annual Patayani performances.
:Today, Thiruvathirakali has become a popular dance
form for all seasons.
:Yakshagana performers wear huge headgears, elaborate facial make-up,
colourful costumes and ornaments which together give a superhuman
appearance to the character presented.