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Kolattam- Celebration of an Asura’s reformation by a folk dance

Kolattam Folk dance

Kolattam, derived from Kol( a small stick), and Attam (play) is the name of a folk dance practiced by young girls in South India mainly in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

According to legends, once there was an Asura called Basavasura who could not be controlled by anybody. Some young girls went to him and played Kolattam with charming music. The Asura was so pleased with the divine music and grace of the girls, that he gave up all his evil designs. The dance originated in the regions like Mahabalipuram, Taripatri, Macherla, Hampi and Ramappa.

In Kolattam Dance the dancers use sticks to keep the rhythm of the dance. These sticks are stroked against each other to create a harmony and also make the dance more swift and soothing. ‘Basava’ – the bull, the personification of Shiva is the centre of the Kolattam festival, commencing every year on the new moon day of the October-November and ending on the full moon day.



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