THULLAL

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Location: Kerala
Introduced in: 18th Century
Introduced by: Famous Poet 'Kunchan Nambiar'


Thullal or Ottam Thullal - A Solo Dance Performance combining Dance and Recitation of Stories from Hindu Mythology, KeralaThullal is a solo performance combining dance and recitation of stories in verse.

Staged during temple festivals, the performer explicates the verses through expressive gestures. Themes are based on mythological stories. Thullal was introduced in the 18th century by the famous poet, Kunchan Nambiar.

Humour, satire and social criticism are the hallmarks of this art form. The make up, though simple, is very much akin to that used for Kathakali. The Thullal dancer is supported by a singer who repeats the verses.

The orchestra consists of the 'Mridangam' or the 'Thoppi Maddalam' and a pair of cymbals. There are three related varieties of 'Thullal' namely, Ottan, Seethankan and Parayan Thullal of which the first is the most popular.



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