Kolkkali Dance is one of the popular dances of Kerala. There are a number of arts and crafts practiced in Kerala, including dance, martial arts, and ritual arts. The dance forms of Kerala are mainly folk dances, and bear the legacy of the traditional art and craft of Kerala.
Kerala has a great variety of folk dances that reflect the characteristics and temperaments of the localities in music and costume. Kolkkali is one such folk dance of Kerala that is worth a watch on your Kerala Tour. Kolkkali, also called Kolukali, Koladi, etc, is believed to be a dance form that is more than thousand years old.
Kolkkali dance of Kerala is performed mainly by the farmers. It is a highly rhythmic dance, known for its exhibition of physical skills, in which a group of dancers wield small sticks. A group often has 12-24 performers each with two sticks in hand. A harmonious synchronization of the tapping of feet to the clapping of sticks sets the rhythm of this amazing dance.
The dancers sing and move in a circle around a nilavilakku as they dance and strike the small sticks in harmony. Though the dancers break away to form various patterns, they keep rhythm with special steps. As the Kolkkali dance progresses, the circle expands and contracts. The pace and rhythm of the dance differs from phase to phase as the accompanying music gradually rises in pitch and the dance culminates.
In Malabar, Kolkkali dance is more popular among Muslim men. This unique dance form is also a top draw for the tourists.