Apart from the scenic beauty the rich and vibrant culture of Kerala has attracted people from various parts. The true essence of Kerala lays in the culture and art forms of this heavenly land. The unique art forms of Kerala reflect the life and traditions of the people. From Kathakali to the folk dances each and every art form of Kerala is the rhythmic impulse and rituals of the sensitive people in here.
The importance of religious and social history to the origin of these performing arts made it an essential part of religious festivals and social events in Kerala. Recently UNESCO has declared Koodiyattam, an art form of Kerala as one among the masterpieces of oral and intangible heritage of humanity. It’s for the first time in the history of UNESCO selecting an art form across the world and giving it recognition.
The main themes of these performing art forms are religious. From long back itself these art forms were performed during festivals and in social gatherings and temples. It has become a tradition. Some of these art forms are night long events. These art forms are very helpful in maintaining social interaction and bonding between people irrespective of their background.
The art forms of Kerala mainly fall into two categories. They are classical art forms and folk art forms. Apart from these Martial art forms of Kerala is also an integral part of tradition and culture of Kerala. Important classical art forms of Kerala include Kathakali and Chakyarkoothu. Kathakali is the spectacular art form of Kerala based on drama, music and dance. It is the traditional folk art form of Kerala. Chakyarkoothu also called as Koothu is one of the oldest theatre art form. This is a solo dance form and is usually presented in the Koothambalam of temples.
In addition to these there are many wonderful folk art forms in Kerala. Main folk art forms of Kerala are Krishnanattam, Mohiniyattam,Thullal, Patakam, Theyyam , Kalampattu, Kavadiyattam, Sarpa pattu, Thidambu nritham, Padayani, Chavittunadakam, Pulikkali, Thiruvathirakkali, Margamkali, Kolkali, Duffu Muttu, Oppana etc. Mohiniyattam is the dance form that is believed to be originated in Kerala. This female semi classical dance form is older than Kathakali.
Margamkali is an art form famous among Syrian Christians of Kerala. A dozen dancers clad in a simple traditional white dhoti sing and dance around a lighted wick lamp. Oppana, the wonderful art form is a Muslim bridal group dance, where the bride sits in the centre and others move around her singing and clapping their hands in a rhythmic way. Oppana is an essential part of the Muslim wedding in Kerala which makes it more colourful. It’s been said that soul of Kerala lies in these art forms.