Dance & Theatre
Dance & Theatre 667 Videos
Cholliyattam- Bali and Sugirva

Kutiyattam is considered to be the only surviving Sanskrit theatre in India. It is well preserved in Kerala and this ancient art form received a remarkable facelift when UNESCO declared it as a masterpiece of oral and intangible tradition of humanity.

Kutiyattam in Malayalam means ‘acting together’. One or two acts from Sanskrit dramas are performed in Kutiyattam. Many extraneous details are added to the text and ultimately, it derives the form of a full fledged play.

Kutiyattam is traditionally performed by the members of the Nangiar and the chakiyar families. It is presented exclusively within Koothambalams, the temple theatres built as an annex to some major temples of Kerala.

As in Kathakali, the nature of the characters is portrayed through specific make-ups. They are Pacha or green (noble ones), Pazhukka (noble and heroic), Kathi (valorous yet evil), Kari (demons and demonesses), Thadi (three monkey characters) and Minukku (women and simple characters).


Cholliyattam is a kind of rehearsal to Kutiyattam, without any proper make-up. It is a word-by-word representation of the story, through proper gestures.

In the video, the conflict between Bali and Sugriva, two monkey characters in the epic Ramayana is portrayed. Here