(Last Updated on : 07/07/2011)
Folk dances of Tamil Nadu
have both regional autonomy and features that are truly of that particular state. Tamil Nadu had developed the art of entertainment to its pristine heights at a very early age. The folk dances of Tamil Nadu have survived through many centuries of Indian History and have provided continuity to the Indian tradition that is not stagnant, as it is constantly adapting itself to new conditions and assimilating influences. The more celebrated forms of village folk dances are as follows:
is a type of dance-drama distinctive to the Tamils. As performed for an entertaining objective, whose emphasis is balanced between the classical & traditional one.
This is a kind of folk dance which is performed with balancing pot on head. The villagers perform this dance in praise of the rain goddess "Mari Amman" and the river goddess "Gangai Amman" as a part of their custom. In this dance, the performers balance the water pot on their head very beautifully.
It is most important village dance of Tamil Nadu. This dance form is performed by the women folk. This form is performed with no assistance of musical instruments but with the clapping. This dance is usually performed during temple festival.
is a folk dance, very famous in all parts of Tamil Nadu. This dance is performed by the help of sticks. A festival connected with Kolaattam has both a cultural and a religious significance.
While visiting any pilgrimage or any such holy place, ancient Tamilians, used to carry the offerings to the gods. This used to be tied to the either end of the long stick usually made up of bamboo and then balanced on their shoulders. This was created to lessen the boredom of the long travels; kavadi Aattam hence, has its origin in this context. Many special songs were created to sing while carrying the Kavadi Sindhu. Only the men perform it, since only they can hold the Kavadi.
The word "Nondi" means the one who limps and "Natakam" means play. This form originated during the late 17th or early 18th century in Tamil Nadu state itself. The play is a descriptive one and it is developed around two themes- devotion and forgiveness, as experienced by a one-legged thief. As a course of dance, he narrates his tale- as a thief in love with an unethical courtesan, the final redemption through devotion to God and the healing of his physical afflictions.
Pavai Koothu is considered as a form of early year`s puppet shows. Some called it as a glove puppet theatre of the 16th century. "Pavai" means woman, "Koothu" means play. The name is quite appropriate to its theme, as all the stories concern with the feelings of Vali, one of Lord Shiva
`s attendants, for Subramanya, who is one of Shiva`s son.
Kai Silambu Aattam Dance
This dance is performed in temples during the time of Amman festivals or Navaratri festival. The dance is in praise of all the female deities, the most preferred being the powerful angry goddess also known as Shakti -Goddess Kali
or Goddess Durga
Another special folk dance of Tamil Nadu is Snake dance. The concept of this form has originated from the belief that snake is a protective divinity keeping safe the health of the rural people.
This folk form is also very popular among the young girls of Tamil Nadu. This is performed by girls dressed as peacocks.