Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Popular Dance-Forms in Kerala

The classical art forms 'Koodiyattam,kathakali and Mohiniyattam' originated in Kerala.But all dance forms of India are  trained  and performed in Kerala, out of which dance varieties 'Bharata Natyam  and Kuchipudi Natyam'
got much popularity and large number of students and teachers(Gurus) are found  in that sector.Bharatanatyam dance was originated in Tamil Nadu and Kuchipudi dance  was originated in Andhra Pradesh, but Kerala has adopted this two dance varieties as its own and learning centres are found in every nook and corner of Kerala.
Classical Dance-Drama  'Yaksha Ganam'  is   believed  to be developed by a 'Guru'  ' Parthi Subban'  who belonged to 'Kumbala' of  'Kasergod' Taluk, but
'Yakshaganam' is now considered as a Classical Dance-Drama of 'Karnataka State.


Yaksha Ganam is a classical art form which has close relation to Kathakali and Theyyam in several aspects.Even though it is considered as  a classical Dance-Drama of Karnataka, it is widely popular in northern part of Kerala especially in Kasergod district.Like as in Kathakali, the characters have colourful costumes,heavy make-up and  large headgears.If in Kathakali the  artists have to keep mute, in Yakshaganam they can speak and sing.The female characters are presented by female artists itself in Yaksha Ganam but in Kathakali female part is mostly played by men.The themes of the plays are taken from Ramayana or Mahabharata epics.Mainly Kannada Language is used but stories are written in Tulu language and Malayalam also.So in Kasergod district Malayalam version of Yaksha Ganam is widely played as part of cultural programmes during temple festivals.The percussion instruments such as Chenda,Maddalam,Cymbals,Chengila etc are used for Yaksha Ganam.


Tamil Nadu is the birth place of Bharata Natyam, but as in Tamil Nadu it has gained tremendous popularity in Kerala.People love it  and are fascinated to watch it during temple festivals and when performed as part of some other cultural activities.
Bharata Natyam  was originated at Tanjore by four brothers 'Chinnaiah,Ponnaiah,Vadivelu and Shivanandam'.They designed it as we see it  today as according to Natya Sastra and handed over to the next generation.This dance form consists of dance aspects such as' Alaarippu,Varnam,Padam,Thillana' etc.
The dedicated pupil need to take vigorous and rigorous training for a period of seven years or more to become an efficient Bharata Natyam performer.
Highly learned  Gurus were known as 'Nattuwanars'.Temple dancers known as 'Devadasis' also gave much propaganda for Bharata Natyam by performing it and by teaching other enthusiastic students. As a temple art form it got wide popularity and acceptance.


Kuchipudi is originated in Andhra Pradesh and now it has earned wide popularity in all South Indian States.This dance form was developed in a Village called 'Kuchipudi' and hence the name.It was designed by 'Sidhandra Yogi' based on 'Natya Sastra'.
The Dance technique has greater freedom  and fluidity than other dance types.
The Kuchipudi dance is closely associated with a traditional theatrical dance-drama 'Bhagawata Mela Natakam' in which actors sing and dance in a blend of folk and classical.

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