One of the traditional art forms of Kerala, the Krishnanattom Dance is one of the most beautiful dance forms of Kerala. A dance form that originated from Koodiattayam, Krishnanattom is one of the oldest dance forms of Kerala.
Krishnanattom dance in Kerala evolved from Krishnagiti a series of slokas that depicts the life story of Krishna and hence the name. It was composed by Manaveda who was the Zamorin King of Calicut in the year 1654. A perfect blend of traditional art of Kerala, the Krishnanattom dance has evolved a lot from the earlier years and it was from this dance form that Kathakali was inspired.
The dancers who participate in the Krishnanattom dance wear masks while those who do not wear masks have specific colors which define their character. Donning their red and blue vests and flowing Uthariyams they present the intricate and graceful steps of Krishnanattom of Kerala.
The traditional ritualistic performance lasts for eight days that depicts the birth of Lord Krishna and his ascension to heaven or Swargorohanam. In the background of Krishnanattom Dance one can get to hear traditional Kerala instruments like Maddalam, Ilathalam and Chengila. The play generally depicts the life story of Krishna and assumes the character of a morality play. It is believed to have influenced the rise of dance forms like Kathakali.