• Wednesday 22 May 2019

    Karakattam Folk Dance

    India is the country with 29 states. Each state has its own culture, traditions, rituals, cuisines, language, and costumes. Folk dance has a vital role in every Indian religion. One of the most traditional and ancient dance forms, Karakattam has its roots in Southern part of India. It is originally a folk dance of Tamil Nadu dedicated to the rain Goddess Mariamman. It is evolved from the combination of several Tamil dance forms such as Bharatnatyam and mudras. Facts and history of this dance form date back to five thousand years ago. The purpose of this dance is to receive the blessing of Goddess to get good rainfall in the whole year.

    How it is performed?
    There are basically 2 kinds of Karakattam dances. They are AattaKarakam and SakthiKarakam. In the first type which is AattaKarakam, people perform on stages for the purpose of entertainment. In type 2 which is SakthiKarakam, the dancers perform only in the temple for dedicating to Gods and Goddesses.

    People wear bright and beautiful dresses while performing this dance form. The dancers mainly wear dresses with colors such as yellow, maroon, red, green, purples and blue. Karakattam dance mainly symbolizes entertainment, joy, and happiness. For this reason, the dancers choose elegant dresses and heavy jewelry. Women dancers put large bindis and wear colorful housecoats to grab the attraction of the audience. Small children also take part in this amazing art form.

    Men dress like Lord Krishna and Lord Rama to take the dance at an interesting level. They also put bright makeup while dancing on the stages. All the dancers perform by placing the pot on their heads and balancing it properly. One of the common songs in Karakattam dance is AmrithavarshiniRagam or Ragamalika. Men place the birds such as parrots on the top of the pots. Sometimes, the dancers also place a plate of water on the feet while dancing.

    The steps of this dance form involve the joining of legs and locking of hands of dancers by staring at each other for a long time. At times, there are also stunts in the dance where dancers blow fire and stick needles into their own eyes and balancing the bottle on the dancer’s back. The dancers bring life in the dance with their stunning movements and steps. They explain the theme of Karakattamdance to the audience with their facial expression and dance steps.

    Since Karakattam is popular in Tamil Nadu, the people from Tamil background has many beliefs regarding this dance form. They believe that Karakattamdance pleases the mother earth and they will get a good amount of rains in the year which will give them a good harvest too. With beautiful clothes, amazing dance steps, live makeup, and unique dance style, the dancers enhance the quality of this art form.

    Karattam art form is also shown in some of the Tamil movies and songs. We are truly blessed with such stunning dance and art forms.

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