Indian Folk Dance Kolattam at Kanakadurga Temple Vijayawada

Indian Folk Dance Kolattam at Kanakadurga Temple Vijayawada

Kolattam Dance is one of the most famous dance of andhra pradesh. Kolattam is the name of an alluring and charming dance form practiced by the young ladies and girls of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and other southern states of India. Kolattam is derived from Kol, which means a small stick and Attam, which means play.

Kolattam is an ancient village art. It could also be called “the stick dance.” This is mentioned in Kanchipuram as ‘Cheivaikiyar Kolattam’, which proves its antiquity. This is performed by women only, with two sticks held in each hand, beaten to make a rhythmic sound.

This dance has originated from Mahabalipuram and Taripatri regions. It has connections with other art forms of Hampi, Macherla and Ramappa. Kolattam Dancers use their sticks to create harmonious music which accompanies their soothing and swift movements. It has cultural and religious significance and is one of the most popular forms of village art. The dance has its origin in ancient times and it’s also mentioned in the epics and folklore of Kanchipuram as ‘Cheivaikiyar Kolattam’.

According to the stories and legends connected with the origination of Kolattam, this dance has relevance to the existence of Basavasura, a demon who was uncontrollable and notorious for his vicious and inhuman acts. As the legend goes, some young girls with small sticks in hand had approached Basavasura and played Kolattam to charming music notes. Asura was supremely pleased and happy with the divine presence, music and grace of these girls and promised to give up all his evil designs. Ever since, the event is celebrated as the festival of Kolatta Jothrai in several rural and urban areas of South India.

The movements of Kolattam are practiced by groups of 8-40 females before the performance. Dancers are led by a troupe leader to form two different circles by moving in and out in synchronized steps. Team members present in the outer circle deliver strikes by their sticks, while those present in the inner circle receive them in tandem to the rhythms created. The sounds created by the sticks are music to the ears and set the stage alight with their harmonious sounds.