Kaikottikkali is a traditional dance by the women in their homes for Onam celebrations. Deep clapping of palms in melody with articulated and measured steps and jumps in tune with the singing by the players themselves constitute the play.
Also known as thiruvathirakali, it is an extremely popular and graceful group-dance of the malayali women typically performed during festive seasons like Onam. It involves normally 8-10 dancers. It is a slow dance form famous for the sensuous body movements to convey the lasya emotion. Dressed in Kerala style with mundu and neriyathu, the women matches their steps to the notes of the melodious Thiruvathira songs that depict scenes from Hindu mythology. Mostly ladies, but gents too perform in some parts of Malabar region.
The dancers move in circles around a huge lighted traditional brass oil lamp in both clockwise and anticlockwise directions. At every step they bend sideways, and bring together their arms to clap. The leading performer sing the first line of the song as the other members repeat it in chorus.
Thiruvathirakali is performed by women to attain marital bliss and night long dance performances are held during the Thiruvathira festival that falls in the month of December. Women irrespective of age soak up in the spirit and dance with elegance and ease. If interested, you can also participate in this enchanting dance form to get a feel of the culture and traditions of Kerala.