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Kanyarkali Dance

Kanyarkali also known as Desathukali is a festival celebrated in celebrated in month of March or April in Kurumba Bhagavathy temples in Palakkad District of Kerala India. It is a fast and swift dance attuned to rhythmic devotional folk songs and asuravadyas. They are said to originate from the pursuit of martial arts when the region was under threat of attack from nearby Konganadu. Kannyarkali arose when dance and comedy were added to the martial training sessions.The dances may be performed in either the ritualistic Vattakkali style or the more relaxed Porattu style.

Kanyarkali or Kanyaarkali is a performance that incorporates the essence of dance, drama, music, song, and martial skills. This is performed at Bhagavathy temples in the Alathur and Chittur Thaluks of Palakkad district. Kanyar Kali festivals are largely in locations throughout Palakkad District— in Manjalur, Pallassena, Pallavur, Mudappallur, Kakkayur, Kattusseri (Alathur), Kunissery Vadavannur, Tathamangalam, Kozhalmannam, Pudiyankam, Nemmara, Chittlancherry, Cheramangalam, Ayalur, Thiruvazhiyad, Athipotta, Vattekkad, Melarcode, Manjalur Kannanore, Koduvayur and Puthucode.

Instruments and Dance

Musical instruments like chenda, maddalam, elathalam, and chengala are used in these dances, and the costumes are very colorful. Kanyarkali depicts the life of the Malayalams, who were one-time slaves and dependents of the feudal chieftains and jenmies of the Malabar area in Kerala. The accompanying folk songs also throw some light on the ancient feudal relationships.

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