it's true that Kerala doesn't have Taj Mahal and many other magnificent
monuments that other states have yet the state more than makes up for it by
its richness in the field of performing arts. The creativity that is on
display in these performances, could not have developed to this level had
these not have enjoyed unstinted patronage from the rulers of the period.
The present day democratic governments also extend all possible help to the
artists so that the art and culture of Kerala keep flourishing with time.
Kerala culture is very much an integral part of the cultural fabric of
India. It is a composite culture which has been formed by the integration of
various cultures into one common stream in the state.
Folk Songs and Arts
Kerala as a state has a very rich collection of the folk songs, wherein you
would find themes ranging from religion and mythology to various
agricultural activities. The other popular themes are about weddings, beauty
of the region etc. The Mudiyattom Kali is a popular folk dance form in which
the female dancers dance with their hairs unlocked.
Traditional Performing Arts
These traditions make their presence felt throughout the state in the form
of a feast for the eyes of the tourists. It is necessary to watch these art
forms in their purest form, complete with all the required paraphernalia so
that you can get close to the state and its life itself. These art forms
mainly present to you the legends and the legendary characters of yore which
are brought to life on stage again by these artists and you are simply
stunned by the effect of the attires and facial expressions of these art
forms. Some of the performing arts have been interwoven in the social fabric
of the state. The classical dance forms such as the Kathakali and
Bharatnatyam have been associated with the upper classes of the society
whereas the dances like Theyyam and Padayani have been associated with the
Some of the classical art forms that make up the cultural strand of Kerala
It is a classical dance form which is performed solo. Mohiniyattam has
taken up the specialities of many dance forms such as the elegance of
Bharatnatyam as well as the dynamism of Kathakali. It is usually performed
on the occasion of the temple festivals and the dancers have to prepare
themselves in a particular way in keeping with the traditions of the dance
It is said to be the oldest dance form of India which is often described by
the art connoisseurs as poetry in motion. The Bharatnatyam has its origin in
the Natya Shastra. The dance form is more conventional compared to the other
dance forms in the sense that innovations and experiments with the basic
structure of the dance form has not been allowed. Bharatnatyam was earlier
known as Dasi Attam as it was then performed in the temples only by young
women known as Devdasis. Mostly it is performed by the women, though
sometimes men also perform this dance.
This dance form also has its roots in the Natya Shastra. Its performance
starts in the evening and continues up to the dawn which usually takes place
on almost all the temple as well as the cultural festivals of the state. The
make up and costumes are highly intricate and elaborate so as to emanate a
superhuman feel about the performance.
The themes of the performances are generally taken from the mythology and
music is an important ingredient of these art forms.