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Thullal Dance

Thullal 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 bear the legacy of the traditional art and craft of Kerala.

One of the classical performing arts of Kerala, Thullal dance of Kerala is worth a watch on your Kerala Tour. Thullal is a solo dance in which the dancer is supported by two musicians, one playing the maddalam and the other, small cymbals. The dance is performed in the compound of a temple or the courtyard of a house, as no formal stage is used for the performance.

The dancer sings a verse that is repeated by his musical assistant. The dancer brings out the meaning of the verses through facial expressions, hand gestures and bodily postures. He keeps on shifting from the role of the narrator to that of the actor with incredible artistic effect.

Thullal is also a genre of poetry in Malayalam, which supposedly inspired the songs for Thullal dance. Throughout the two-hour gripping performance, the dance element predominates over the song. The songs are based on the classical principles of Naatya Saastra, a treatise on art dating back to 2nd century BC. The dancer executes some vigorous foot steps and rhythmic movement of the body to make the dance lively. They express emotions pertaining mainly to valor, humor, pathos, anger and devotion through the dance.