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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."

the gallery[edit]

[3]== References ==

External links[edit]

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

Deccan Chronicle

Deccan Chronicle
Thu, 09 Apr 2015 21:25:22 -0700

It may be noted that June last year, a woman karakattam dancer and a suspected red sanders smuggler Mohanambal, surrendered in a Vellore court after the police seized over Rs 4 crore from her house in Vellore. She and her nephew Saravanan, were ...

The Hans India

The Hans India
Sat, 11 Apr 2015 23:11:15 -0700

As per the reports, a karakattam dancer surrendered in a Vellore court after the police seized over Rs 4 crore worth red sanders from her house in Vellore. Even Andhra Police arrested Rajendran, a brother of a Chennai politician, when he tried to ...

CanIndia News

CanIndia News
Wed, 19 Feb 2014 23:07:30 -0800

63 Chennai, Feb 20 (IANS) 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 ...


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 ...

Times of India

Times of India
Mon, 01 Dec 2014 00:03:45 -0800

Starring Sasikumar and Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, 'Tharai Thappattai' is based on ancient dance form Karakattam. The young actress has begun shooting for the film and tweeted, "And so the journey of #Thaaraithappatai begins... So excited to finally work ...

The Hindu

The Hindu
Mon, 26 Jan 2015 16:04:58 -0800

Prison guard Kumaravel entertained inmates with a karakattam, followed by dance by children of Saranalaya Home for the Prisoners' Children. The music troop of prison inmates played light music. Prizes were given away to inmates who won the elocution ...
The Hindu
Fri, 23 Jan 2015 16:22:40 -0800

Department of Information and Public Relations: Government exhibition, St.John's Vestry Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Poikal kuthirai and karakattam by Madurai Kalai Kuzhu, 6 p.m.. Carmel's Group of Schools: Annual day, P ...
Business Standard
Sat, 27 Dec 2014 08:07:30 -0800

Besides Carnatic vocal performances, which will also feature national award winning playback singer P Unnikrishnan, there will be recitals by violin-veena duo Kumaresh and Jayanthi Kumaresh, villu paattu (bow song), karakattam (water pot dance ...

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