Thursday, August 6, 2020
Kerala

Arts and Architecture


Semi Classical Dance

Based on different styles of narrative singing, rhythms of dancing, foot work and make-up of the dancer, three varieties of Thullal were evolved in course of time. They are:
1. Ottan Thullal

This style consists of a variety of rapid metres well suited for amusing narratives and is vigorous in execution. The Thullal artist who represents this type has a fascinating costume. His face is painted green. With a round headgear of multi-coloured tinsel and gold, a breast plate to match, a circlet of jingles round his ankles and wearing a frilled skirt round his waist, he sings and dances to the sounding of the cymbals and beating of the drum. Along with singing and dancing, the player acts the incidents narrated in the songs. Ottan thullal usually represents Mahavishnu.

2. Seethankan Thullal

It has metres of medium cadence for the songs used and rhythm to suit. In contrast to the picturesque appearance of the dancer in Ottam Thullal, the dancer in Seethankam Thullal has his face unpainted, except for a few black lines, on the eyebrows and eyelids to heighten the expression of the eyes. He wears a crown made out of the tender leaves of coconut palm, with frills of the same material adorning his wrists.

3.Parayan Thullal

This has a slow narrative style for singing, with slow graceful elegant steps, movements and hand gestures. The make-up of a Parayan is very simple except for an ornamental headgear with a serpent hood and a red cloth round his waist. The dancer smears the body with charcoal paste and wears ghungru (circlet of bells) only on one leg.