Poikkal Kuthirai Attam Folk Dance, Tamil Nadu

The dance of the false legged horse, Poikkal Kuthirai Attam hails from Tamil Nadu but it also very popular in Maharashtra. The Marathas conquered Thanjavur and naturally carrying the West to the South. One such fruit that was sown in the West (from South region) by the Maratha was the fruit called Poikkal Kuthirai Attam, the cultural fruit.

Kalaimamani T.A.R. Nadi Rao is the greatest living exponent of the form. He along with his wife Kamachi have popularized the medium through and through out.

The performers as if fit inside the horse shell mainly at the hip positthision. The horse shell is highly decorated – usually paper and hardened paper being the backbone embroidered with ornamental designs with the deliberate usage of glass to shine off the light and make a visual effect on the audience. Wooden legs are strapped to mimic the sound of the hooves. The performers balance themselves on the wooden legs and portray a performance that will make love flow. The performance usually occurs in a duo – and the duo interacts. They screech the horse at times to portray anger. At times they rotate the horse in a harmonic way to showcase love. So this is a simple case of jugalbandi. One of the duos puts forth a question by some careful design and from the grammar and then stops. The other then nudges the horse obeying the grammar and tries to answer the question. Heavy facial expressions, at times exaggerated, and the continuous beating of the tin drum accompanies the act. Witnessing such a live show of Poikkal Kuthirai Attam will bring forth your regal flares into the open.

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Sureshsuredh Sureshsuresh
16 February 2021

Which centuary poi Kal kuthirai seen?