Friday, December 2, 2022

Arts and Architecture

Folk Dance

Traditional folk dances are of great variety. One of the most charming is the Kummi, where the rhythm of the song and steps begins in slow beats and gets exciting acceleration as well as complication. 


Another favourite form is the Tiruvathira dance by maidens in a circle which revolves with steps alternating with the palms of each maiden meet those of a girl next her in rhythmic claps. A narrative song is also sung by the dancers as they go round. The cultural level has always been fairly high in the middle and upper classes and women fully participate in it.

In Kerala, there is a unique phenomenon of a continuous escalation of folk traditions. The Tiruvathira celebration must have begun as a simple folk song and dance. But later narrative poems of classical quality were written for such dances. One of the best example is the poem on the story of Shakuntala written for this dance by Machatt Illyat in the first half of the nineteenth century.