Kerala is considered as a gold mine for different types of folk art forms. Most f the performers of the same field stays in remote area of the state. Gopalakrishnan exstansively traveled through out these places and made contact with them. Gopalakrishnan is one of the few people who is particiapating the original personalities from the original place of different type of folk art forms. Also Gopalakrishnan had given opportunities to the above genuine artists to participate in o number of south indian films. Sivaji the bose is one among them.
Theyyam or Theyyattam
Padayani or padeni colloquial speech is one of the most colourful and spectacular ritual art associated with the festivals of certain temples in southern Kerala. The word padayani literally means military formations or rows of army, but in this folk art we have mainly a series of divine and semi-divine impersonations wearing huge masks or kolams of different shapes, colours and desingns painted on the stalks of arecanut fronds.The Padayani is dedicated to the Goddess Bhadrakaali. It is a marvellous combination of music, dance, painting and satire. Padayani is the annual ritualistic festival celebrated in Bhadrakali temples of Central travancore province with due dedications. It may be regarded as the remains of ancient Dravidian God concept and mode of worship offering Rathi (lust), Raktham (Blood) and Lahari (toxic mood) The very spirit of central travancore finds its appearance in Padayani as that of Malabar in Theyyam.
Poothan and Thira is a ritualistic art form found in South Malabar region of Kerala in India, usually during the festival (Thalappoli / Pooram) season of Walluvanad temples from December to May. A typical Poothan Thira performance comprising mostly shouts and wild gestures. Poothan player usually wear in bright (usually red), tightly woven costumes embellished with gold-coloured trinkets. Their larger than life headdresses with peacock features and imposing masks with stick out tongues and eyes are sure to leave an unbelievable imagination to the viewer. Thira player wears semicircular black crown mounted on his head with symbols of the goddess embossed on the same. We can see may Thira players with extra ordinary acrobatic skills who make the performance to a real treat to watch.
Pulikkali is a colorful recreational folk art from of Kerala. It is performed by trained artists to entertain people on the occasion of Onam, an annual harvest festival, celebrated mainly in the Indian state of Kerala. On the fourth day of Onam celebrations (Nalaam Onam), performers painted like tigers and hunters in bright yellow, red, and black dance to the beats of instruments like Udukku and Thakil. Literal meaning of Pulikali is the 'play of the tigers' hence the performance revolve around the theme of tiger hunting. The folk art is mainly practiced in Thrissur district of Kerala. Best place to watch the show is at Swaraj Round, Thrissur on the fourth day of Onam, where Pulikali troupes from all over the district assemble to display their skills. The festival attracts thousands of people to the city.
Kummattikali or Kummatti Kali is the famous colorful mask-dance of Kerala. During the festival of Onam, Kummattikali performers move from house to house collecting small gifts and entertaining people. Kummatti dances are rampant in the Thrissur district during Onam. Onlookers, especially children take great delight in their performance.
Arjuna Nritham is also known as Mayilpeeli Thookkam. The dance which literally means the “dance of Arjuna” is most commonly performed in the various Bhadrakali Temples of Kerala. A hero possessing epic qualities, Arjuna was one of the five Pandava Brothers, around whose adventures, the famous Indian epic the Mahabharata was written. The dance is a form of homage to Goddess Bhadrakali, who was worshipped by Arjuna.
Performed to the accompaniment of music which too is especially composed to suit the purpose of the dance, Arjuna Nritham has a characteristic style of its own and is a definite must watch while on a trip to Kerala. Based primarily on rhythm, Arjuna Nritham is made even more special by the characteristic garments of the performers which consist of clothes made up of peacock feathers.
Velakali is a ritual art (dance) of Kerala a small state in south India, mainly performed at temples in the festival time.The performers, clad in the traditional clothes and colourful headgear of the medieval Nair soldiers, engage in vigorous movements and dexterous sword play, to the accompaniment of an orchestra comprising the maddalam, ilathalam, kombu and kuzhal. Velakali originated in Ambalappuzha where Mathoor Panicker, chief of the Chempakasserri army, promoted it to boost the martial spirit of the people.
Mudiyettu is ritualistic dance springing form the bhagavathi or bhadrakali cult. The theme depicts the glory and triumph of Bhagavathy over the demon Darika. The characters are all heavily made up with gorgeous costumes, intricate and elaborate and with conventional facial paintings, tall head - gears etc. Attired and adorned exotically with a unique weirdness and hideousness, the characters seem quit supernatural. Their mien and array make them colorful, imposing and awe-inspiring in the extreme.