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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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83 news items

I am in dna of India

I am in dna of India
Wed, 23 Sep 2015 04:03:45 -0700

Artists performed the Karakattam – an ancient folk dance form from Tamil Nadu at Vrindavan Society in Kandivali (W) as Ganesh Chaturthi festivities continue. The People's Welfare Association of Poisar organised the performance. "The dance is performed ...

News Today

News Today
Tue, 24 Nov 2015 02:27:08 -0800

Tharai Thappattai is written and directed by Bala. The film features Sasikumar and Varalaxmi Sarathkumar in the leading roles, while Ilayaraja composes the film's music based on karakattam. It began production in 2014 and is expected to hit the screens ...


Mon, 16 Nov 2015 02:54:13 -0800

'Vedalam' and 'Thoongavanam' the two grand Deepavali releases in Kollywood are turning out to be profitable for all the stakeholders thanks to the extended weekend after the Deepavali festival. Thala Ajith's mass masala entertainer 'Vedalam' has ...

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 ...

Bollywood Life

Bollywood Life
Thu, 20 Feb 2014 04:49:19 -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 ...


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 ...


Sat, 18 Jul 2015 23:51:04 -0700

Now the shoot of this film touted to be a fictional take on the lives of Nadaswaram and Karakattam artists seems to have resumed now. Varu, who reportedly plays the role of a Karakattam dancer in this film has updated a photo in her twitter page and ...

Times of India

Times of India
Sun, 18 Oct 2015 00:22:16 -0700

I play a Karakattam dancer in the film, and it's not something that one can pull off that easily. I spent about three months learning this traditional dance form. I am trained in western dance, and so, learning this form of dance was something new and ...

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