Adolescents of Thottiyapatty in Thogamalai Block of Karur District practice their traditional dance, Devarattam, the ‘dance of gods’. This folk dance has been performed by Kambalathu Nayakar community Trichy-Karur regions of Tamil Nadu.
It is believed that Kambalathu Nayakar community members are the successors of heavenly gods or ‘devas’. Hence they perform the Devarattam dance during festivals and special occasions which are celebrated in the state of Tamil Nadu.
The ancient dance of Devarattam has a rich history and has been protected till today by royal descendants of the state.Veerapandiya Kattabomman was the founding father of Kattabomman dynasty. He refused to surrender to then ruling British Raj. According to the researchers, the dance is a blend of ancient ‘ muntherkuruvai’ and ‘pintherkuruvai’ belonging to the Tamil kings of ancient time.
The dance form has significantly evolved through the ages and the present form of Devarattam imitates the lives of Kambalathu Nayakars.Urmi’ which is a drum- like double-headed percussion instrument is one of the main sources of music used in Devarattam.
The dance is enacted in two parts. For one, the performers begin the dance by worshipping the musical instrument and the music player. Then the dancers perform Devarattam dance with fluid movement and fast steps.
The captivating performances of the ancient courtyards are reflected in the rhythmic flow and style of Devarattam dancers who enact the performance with equal dexterity and craftsmanship. The dancers wear colorful costumes and hold handkerchiefs in each hand while performing the dance.
They move gracefully in the beat of Urmi Melam, Thappu Melam and the occasional use of elongated flutes. Devarattam dance is a stunning artistry of Kattambomman dynasty still prevailing its undeniable charm and purity, mesmerizing the state of Tamil Nadu from time immemorial.