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Karakattam (Tamil: கரகாட்டம் or "karakam (கரகம் 'water pot') dance") is an ancient folk dance of Tamil Nadu performed in praise of the rain goddess Mariamman.[1] The performers balance a pot on their head . Traditionally, this dance is categorized into two types- Aatta Karakam is danced with decorated pots on the head and symbolizes joy and happiness. It is mainly performed to entertain the audience. The Sakthi Karakam is performed only in temples as a spiritual offering.[2]

Earlier it was performed only with the accompaniment of the naiyandi melam, but now it also includes songs. In Karakattam, intricate steps and body/arm movements decides the skill of performer. This dance can be performed individually or in pairs, by both the sexes. Some of the steps that are widely used are similar to the circus acts; dancing on a rolling block of wood, up and down a ladder, threading a needle while bending backwards and many more. Today, the pots have transformed from mud pots to bronze ware and stainless steel.

The pots are decorated in many ways with the help of attractive flower arrangements, topped by a moving paper parrot. The parrot rotates as the dancer moves. When men perform this dance, they balance the pots filled with uncooked rice, surrounded by a tall conical bamboo frame decorated with colourful flowers. Drums and long pipes form the musical instruments that add vigor to the dance. They also dance standing over a plate i.e. rim of the plate, filled with water, without spilling water out of the plate while balancing the karakam on their head.

Most expert artistes are from the regions of Thanjavur, Pudukkottai, Ramanathapuram, Madurai, Tirunelveli, and Pattukkottai and Salem, Tamil Nadu. Karakattam is also very popular in countries with significant Tamil minorities such as Singapore, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.

In 1989, a Tamil movie, Karagattakaran, was made that featured as its central characters practitioners of karakattam. The movie went on to become very popular and an advertisement for the dance form, especially because of the music by Ilaiyaraja and, in particular, the song, "Maanguyilae Poonguyile."



External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karakattam — Please support Wikipedia.
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150 news items

The Hindu
Fri, 15 Apr 2016 17:33:22 -0700

Awareness Observer Manish Gautham visited the constituencies where various activities under Systematic Voter Education for Electoral Participation (SVEEP) programme such as uriyattam, karakattam and thappattam were conducted. He also interacted with ...

The Hans India

The Hans India
Mon, 18 Apr 2016 12:07:30 -0700

The shooting of the Telugu film 'Sarabha', directed by debutant N Narasimha Rao, is nearing completion. The makers are currently filming a folk song under the supervision of Sekhar master. The number features Katti Samu, Kara Samu, Tappeta Gullu, ...

Bollywood Life

Bollywood Life
Thu, 20 Feb 2014 04:45:00 -0800

Karakattam is an ancient folk dance in which the dancer performs with a pot on the head. “Varalaxmi has been signed for the film. She is a trained dancer and I thought someone with the dance skills only can even attempt this role. She will undergo ...

Times of India

Times of India
Wed, 19 Feb 2014 23:07:30 -0800

Varalaxmi Sarathkumar will be seen playing the role of a Karakattam dancer in National Award winning filmmaker Bala Pazhanisaamy's yet-untitled upcoming Tamil directorial. The actress will undergo special dance training for her role. Karakattam is an ...


Tue, 13 May 2014 00:41:15 -0700

Varalaxmi Sarathkumar has signed her next big venture with National Award winning director Bala. Titled as Tharai Thappattai, the film marks her third movie in Tamil. In preparation for her role, Varu has started learning Karakattam, dance form of ...

The Hindu

The Hindu
Mon, 04 Jan 2016 22:49:34 -0800

The film is based on the life of Karakattam musicians and dancers in Thanjavur. The storyline has Discovery Tamil's cameras scouting for the ancient Tamil dance forms that are fading out in today's modern world. The film shows television crew searching ...

Times of India

Times of India
Fri, 25 Dec 2015 01:00:15 -0800

The first look teaser of acclaimed director Bala's next starring Sasikumar and Varalaxmi Sarath Kumar in the lead roles titled 'Tharai Thappattai' has been revealed. Ilaiyaraaja composes the film's music based on Karakattam and apparently happens to be ...


Thu, 07 Jan 2016 23:30:00 -0800

RK Suresh Villain In Tharai Thappattai. Suresh plays the antagonist in the film, which will focus on the lives of 'Karakattam' dancers, and is slated to release on January 14th. Recalling how he landed the acting opportunity, he said: "I had ...

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