Thodayam is the ritualistic dance performed prior to a Kathakali performance. It is performed behind the curtain on the stage.
Thodayam is danced for the smooth conduct of a performance. Since it is impractical for every artiste to participate in this, junior artistes perform this representing the actors.
Artistes performing need not have any particular costume or make-up. However the Thodayam performance will have percussion accompaniment.