Kerala Music and Dance

Kerala the land of natural bounties is also known across the globe for its rich cultural heritage. Classical Dance of Kerala is a representation of myriad culture and tradition of this God’s Own Country. In a social sphere Kerala Dance has been a part of ceremony, rituals, celebrations and entertainment. It is the language of emotional expression, which describes various moods and feelings. These dances showcase the diverse religious and cultural traditions of Kerala. The various dance form of Kerala can be divided into three forms semi-classical dances, folk dances and dance dramas. Some of the well-known Classical Dances of Kerala are:


This is the most popular Kerala dance renowned across the globe for its combination of dance, music and ritual. It is one of the oldest forms of theater in the world in which performers enact stories from the Indian Holy Scriptures, especially the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Kathakali derived from the Malayalam word which literally means ‘Story Play’. Kathakali actor tells stories and expresses their feelings through 24 main mudras and many other lesser mudras. In this dance luxuriant costume are used by performers with their faces elaborately painted.


This is among the most lyrical classical dance forms of India. The word Mohiniattam literally means ‘Dance of the Enchantress’ in which a beautiful woman seduces others. The dance is known for graceful movements of an upper body portion with legs that captivates viewer’s attentions for longtime. The stylish movement of a body in medium tempo creates an aesthetic effect that hypnotizes spectators. In this dance form eyes play an important role in communicating sensual feelings.


Also known as Theyyattam or Thira is another most popular folk dance of Kerala. This traditional form of dance generally practiced in northern Kerala. The parody, music, dance and fortune-telling are the basic of this dance. Through dance artists propagates the metaphysical thoughts and lexis of immortal thoughts through a mortal body. This classical dance exclusively performed by the male members of different caste groups. Theyyam is also known for its bizarre head dresses, costumes and body paintings.

Traditional folk dance of Kerala is one of the popular facets of Kerala Tourism, which showcases the rich and preserved cultural traditions of Kerala.

Some of the other well-known Kerala folk dances are Chakyar Koothu, Duffmuttu or Aravanmuttu, Oppana Dance, Margamkal and many more.