What are the lesser known art forms of Ottam Thullal?

The word ‘Ottam’ mean ‘running’ and ‘Thullal’ means a form of ‘dancing’. In other words Ottam Thullal is a playful dance with entertainment, accompanied by a message and with plenty of puns and satire. Kunjan Nambiar was a great promoter of this art, who also composed the lyrics in Malayalam which can be understood by the common people. For instance “Ottam Thullal thulli Verumbo, Veetil Kanji KudikyanIlla, Ethera Valliye Vanna Thadiyan, Yedenna Kollam, Yendena Kollam, Ullokeya Polay Oru Thannine Kollam” (After the Ottham Thullal, the artiste returns home but has no food to eat, what is the use of being such a big man when he is unable to take care of his basic needs). Known as the ‘poor man’s Kathakali’, the make-up, costume and technique of performance is comparatively quite simple.

Another interesting thing is that the Thullal dancer himself plays the role of both the storyteller and the performer and the way he manages both the role is quite fascinating. And the entire performance provides for thought and entertainment for the audience.


Picture Credit : Google