At a glance :
Region : Kerala State
Major City of Dance : Trivandrum, Kochi
Major Transport : Rail, Air and Road
Perfect Time to Visit : Month of August & March
In India, the major differences between the states can be seen in different aspects like cuisine, Language, Music, Costume and Dance. The state of Kerala is known as a destination for tourists to know the culture of India's southern part. Kerala has still preserved their traditional culture, custom, language, food culture, music and dance forms. There are a number of dance forms which are practiced by the people of Kerala state. All their different dance forms are very popular in the whole country and also in other nations. This state has a very rich tradition and culture of the dance forms; which display the temperaments and moods of the different religious stories and epics with bright and beautiful traditional costumes. Their number of dance forms are categories in the different parts like Tribal dance, Neo classical dance, folk dance, Modern dance and Classical dance. The dance also includes the various types of music forms. From olden days, music is a lifeline of Kerala's people. Till today, they have preserved their rich and precious music culture and are practicing it. The presence of classical music can be found in each and every home. The regional people have completely devoted themselves to the folk music, on each occasion they require folk music or songs. Kerala's traditional music is an identifiable flavor of this land and it is beautiful. The folk songs are the prime source of entertainment for regional people and especially for the villagers . The major forms of Kerala music are Carnatic music, folk music, work song, Kathakali music, film songs, Lullabies etc.
Film songs :
When Malayalam Cinema started during the 1940, film songs of around 10, 000 have been created for the twenty thousand five hundred films. In Indian movies, songs always have a huge importance and it includes a huge influence of classical and folk tunes. The songs are frequently played on television, radio and address systems. The songs of films have captured huge space in the minds of the listeners and malayalee masses. Many lyricists have done memorable songs such as O.N.V, Vayalar and P. Bhaskaran, composer of music such as K.Raghavan, Baburaj, Devaranjan and Dakshinamoorthy have captured the success in the film music of Malayam.
Folk Songs :
This state has a precious tradition of ballads and folk songs, most of them are usually performed during the local programs. As times have changed, all these songs became very famous within the region. The folk songs have been passed from one generation to another generation; majority of song's authorship is unclear.
Kathakali Music :
The lyrics of Kathakali music is generally sung through the 2 vocalists. The drums of two different varieties are usually used within the orchestra such as Chenda and Maddalam. The orchestra also includes Chengila, when the vocalist plays the instrument he bangs on the huge metal bell and Cymbals or Iiathalam are usually played through the other artists.
Carnatic Music :
Southern India is popularly known for its classical music. It has become famous within Kerala due to Swathi Thirunal's support; he was a ruler of the ancient Travancore state. Generally the vocalist has the orchestra of violin, mridangam, moorchang and ghatam.
Following are the some of the major dance forms of Kerala state :
This is a dance form of the tribal people which belongs from the tribe of Irular; it is situated in the Attappadi, district of Palakkad. In Elelakkaradi, the whole community of tribal peoples all women, men and children join this dance form. The major attraction of this dance form is that it displays the historical stories in which wild animal and men fight between each other, when the animal attacks the residence of the people. In this dance performance, they showcase the different situation of the fight very nicely. This dance displays the fighting incident, still it is performed in a rhythmical way, as per the beat and dance steps.
This is a classical dance form, which is known for its seductive performance. It is presented by the females, who perform this in a very sensuous way. As per the name, Mohini means magnetic magic, it just attracts the audience, through their appealing dance performance. The dance techniques which is used in this dance is similar to the Bharathamatyam and Kathakali dance form. To perform this dance form, performer should have a lot of grace, glow, expression and elegant. Mohiniyattam dance is present on the Carnatic classical music. The item which attracts people in this dance is real expressions and real dance. This dance form is only performed on the Natya Shastra scripture. This dance does not have any leaps and jumps and also strong foot steps.
This dance type is a raw dance form; it is very famous in few areas of the district of Palakkad. This is a very new dance form, which is nearly hundred year old . Menakshinatakom dance form has 2 dance form's features like Kathakali and Mohiniyattom. The song and music which they use to perform this dance, is a mixture of Malayalam and Tamil songs.This dance form uses the costume and makeup of Kathakali dance. Normally this dance is performed by the men and while performing they can speak.
Ballet and Opera :
These are 2 different modern dance forms. Opera dance form is actually a mixture of Music, poetry and also drama and other arts which are performed on the stage. And another Ballet dance form is based on the music created by instruments. A times, Opera has dance performance, where as rhythm is really not mandatory. Without rhythm Ballet dance cannot be performed. In Opera dance, one person performs two things at one time, acting and singing.