Traditional dance forms of Kerala

“To watch one dance is to hear their heart speak”. This proverb comes to life when you see dance performances in India. Thumbed up by viewers all over the world, Indian dance forms are not just colorful costumes and head movements, they are ways of expressing the magical history, the blend of cultures, and the love for drama! 

You must’ve come across pictures of dancers wearing colorful attires and godly makeup, Have you ever wondered where they are from? The beautiful hand and eye movements flowing with the music, wearing magnificent headgear and glistening with rich cultural imagery are the dancers of Kerala. 

With multitudes of dance forms, all drowning with enchanting stories of the past, Kerala doesn’t fail to impress the audience. Your trip to Kerala will be incomplete without witnessing the magical view of these dances. Keralan dances are a major part of any festival, event, or concert happening in the state, and for you to have the best Kerala trip package, Nitsa Holidays will find you the best spots. 


Recognized at an international level today, Kathakali is the pride of Kerala. One cannot mention the greatness of Kerala without listing Kathakali in it. A 500-year-old dance form, it is a theatrical performance that is a beautiful blend of music, dance, art, and storytelling. The dancers are typically men, wearing colorful costumes, a painted faces, and playing characters from the legends of the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, or the Puranas. 

A part of almost all the occasions of Kerala, visitors can witness this magical moment in 

  1. Kerala Kalamandalam, Thrissur 
  2. Kerala Kathakali Centre, Kochi
  3. Folklore Museum, Kochi


Mohiniyattam is a sensual, feminine, and charming dance form that demonstrates how goddess Mohini defeated the asuras with her elegant moves and gracious gestures. This dance is a blend of Kathakali and Bharatanatyam and is performed by women. The sight of a group of women, very well coordinated and fluently moving with the sound of music is enchanting and inspiring.

Watch Mohiniyatta on your Kerala Tour plan at

  1. Rhythms Theatre, Kochi
  2. Margi Theatre, Thiruvananthapuram 
  3. Kerala Kalamandalam, Thrissur


Another demonstration of beautiful, strong, and charming women, the Thiruvathirakkali dance form is a joy to watch. With women clapping and singing around a floral decoration and hoping for marital happiness, this dance form is usually performed during Onam in honor of Lord Shiva. Viewers can catch a glimpse of this at any Shiva festival in the state, especially 

  1. Thiruvathra Shiva Temple
  2. Nagarikaavu Temple


Koodiyattam is believed to be the oldest dance form of Kerala. A dying art, sadly, requires rigorous training and mastery. Accompanied by multiple musical instruments, this form is usually used to depict Hindu mythology stories and can last for several days! 

Count yourself fortunate if you’re able to witness this magical event in

  1. Kerala Kalamandalam, Thrissur
  2. Margi Theatre, Trivandrum


A very playful and sweet dance form performed at Muslim Weddings in Kerala, Oppana is amongst the liveliest rituals of Kerala. The female relatives of the bride dance around her, teasing her about her wedding night whilst singing folk songs of Mappila Patti. 

To watch this joyous performance, visit

  1. Kerala State School Kalolsavam
  2. Cochin Culture Centre, Kochi


This unique dance form that worships spirits is extremely rare and magnificent. Performed by tribal communities of Kerala, it tells tales and folklore through mimes, dances, and music performed by experts dressed in vibrant costumes. With over 400 dance forms of Theyyam, it’s an amazing way of showing off the heritage of Kerala. 

Watch Theyyam at

  1. Rhythms Theatre, Kochi
  2. Mallom Kollom Temple, Kasargod