Padayani Folk Dance, Kerala

Padayani, the act of militia, is a transcendental form evoking the spirit of the black Mother, the supreme Mahakali. People get hypnotized completely losing their self but perhaps the conscience. A hyper active dance form having the tension of the war field can be a fitted description. Sub alternism injected into the souls, they become insane while the performance is staged amidst music, dialogues, expressions, fire. You can get a volatile rhythm in it, a vision of the crematoriums, a sense of the uncanny unknown yet a camphor-y calm and cold in the burn. The fire and the night are mediated by the dancers. A modern form of Kolam Thullal, the Padayani dance was performed by the mystic-medicine men of Kerala mainly of the Tinta sub sect of the Ganaka community to heal psychological disasters as a mode to vent out the latent psychic emotions popularly known as an exercise of exorcism.

Myth or reality, the supreme Goddess of power was assigned the task to kill Daruka. After attainment, she was heavy in rage and thirsty for more blood. Lord Shiva devised a way to burn out her anger. The bhoothagana danced in front of Mahakali to pacify her else that would lead to the destruction of the Universe. The Padayani dance form is accompanied by lyrics in the theatrical format and thappu provides the essential psychedelic rhythms. It comes in various forms both with respect to geometry, design, season as in Elanthoor, Kottangal, Kadammanitta. Village dedicated to the Padayani dance form is expected to be built to promote farther fervor and enthusiasm in the modern gen to pursue the form and keep alive the great works of the likes of Professor Kadammanitta Vasudevan Pillai, Kadammanitta Ramakrishnan and the rests.

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