Dance Worship

10th  January 2022 Dr Beena

Hello everyone. Once again, Mr Nandakumar permitted me to write my thoughts on his painting. It is about Theyyam, a form of dance worship from Northern Kerala and Karnataka. The dance contains traits dating back to the Neolithic period. Wow, how notable is that a tradition or structure of liturgical dance form exists to date? The surprises of life are incredible๐Ÿ˜Š.

I researched and realised that dance worship existed in many cultures and religions. In the Old Testament, King David danced before the Ark of Covenant. In Christianity, dance worship was controversial. It re-emerged in the 20th Century as part of charismatic worship. Rumi and Sufi dance, a form of dance of the Mevlevi Order, was performed during religious events. From this, the Egyptian Tanoura emerged. There are many more of these dances, and I am still learning about these ancient dances๐Ÿ˜Š phew, learning never ceases.

However, I am amazed that the Theyyam dance worship still exists today! It would have changed with time. Isn’t it interesting that humans incorporated dance into a way of life during the Neolithic and Chalcolithic human evolution? Now, we have all kinds of dance which has become part of our way of life. Hmm, it seems dance does provide a sense of liberation and happiness. Have you noticed after dancing, you feel joyful? It is the release of those happy hormones; ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š. So, the next time you feel down, turn on the music, tap your feet and clap your hands๐Ÿ˜Š. I bet you that you will start to smile and then get up and dance๐Ÿ˜Š. Well, what I mean is a spontaneous form of dance๐Ÿ˜Š.

On that happy note, I wish you a peaceful week and hope you will have a joyful event to make you smile๐Ÿ˜Š. Thank you, Mr Nandakumar, for giving me this opportunity to learn something new. Learning something new is always exhilarating.

5 thoughts on “Dance Worship

  1. Theyyam is still very popular at my ancestral home town of Wadakancheri in Trichur district .
    The temple is is call Uthralikavu set in a picturesque place .
    I just canโ€™t explain my feelings when I go there
    I hope we can go together one day
    I used to be scared of Theyyam in my childhood days ,along with Velichapad.

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience. I used to be afraid of Kathakali dance performances and it took me a long time even as an adult to watch that. But I am petrified even now of watching a thriller on TV๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜….

  2. Theyyam, Thirayattam are forms which predate other colour ful folk arts like Koodiyattam, Kathakali and Thullal.. vibrancy of colour and movements make the dance forms a treat to watch .

    The painting reflects the beautiful and at the same time truthful mixture . Brilliant ๐Ÿ‘

  3. I enjoy both Mr Nandakumarโ€™s beautiful painting (the drummers look so realistic and rather expressive) and Beenaโ€™s musings. Beenaโ€™s writing as always comes with some research. She introduces interesting topics such as this one. Thanks Beena for your musings.

    1. Thank you Jen. Am learning so much about stuff that I never knew. To understand how the origin of this dance can be traced to far back. Hope you continue to read and post yoyr comments. Mr Nandakumar is a talented artist and am grateful that he allowed me to write on this interesting topic.

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