Kerala Backwaters
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An authentic online resource of travel information about the southern Indian state of Kerala, tourist attractions in the state, activities to do and hotels and resorts for an exotic holiday in Kerala.
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Art and Culture of Kerala

Folk Dance of KeralaThough 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 lower classes.

Some of the classical art forms that make up the cultural strand of Kerala are:

Mohiniyattam
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 forms.

Bharatnatyam
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.

Kathakali
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.



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