Survey, Mapping and Documentation of Performing Arts Forms of Lakshadweep

KOLKALI is a group dance performed by men to the rhythmic music created by the beating of two sticks. The most popular folk dance in the islands, Kolkali starts at a low pace and becomes faster as the music gains momentum. Each island has a number of dancing groups performing Kolkali.

PARICHAKKALI  is based on Kalari movements. The rhythmic movements and steps of this dance owe much to the martial art form of Kalari. The men hold wooden replicas of swords and shields and move in circles or facing each other in two rows. The leader sings songs accompanied by a Kinnaram or cymbal. The songs relate mainly to Islamic legends and stories of love, adventure, or history.

ATTAM  is performed by both male and female troupes. It is a performance based on songs written about the social
life of the local people. The name Attam itself means dance. Here, it is a freestyle dance performed without using any instruments. The dancers move forward and backward, to their right and left, showing symbolic gestures with their hands and legs. As the dance progresses, they speed up their movements which end in frenzy.

ULAKKAMUTTU  is another form of dance which requires much skill and precision. It is performed by males only.
Any slight distraction can cause disaster by way of injury to the dancers. Constant and tough practice is required to make one proficient in this folk dance.