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Thidambu Nritham

Thidambu dance is a ritual temple art form performed in the temples of North Malabar and Kasaragod District. Thidambu denotes the decorated replica of the deity in a temple that is usually taken outside for the purposes like festivals and poojas. Thidambu dance is usually associated with the annual festivals of temples. The crew contains a team of ten members. The thidambu of the Devi (goddess) is carried on the head. The dancers make rhythmic footwork based on the music of the drums.

The dancer wears a striking costume a skirt of pleated cloth, a silk vest, earrings, bangles, necklaces and a decorated turban called ushnipeetam. There are various stages in the performance like Urayal, invoking the deity, Thakiladi adantha, Chembada, Pamchan etc. The dancer is usually accompanied by a group of artistes, five of whom play the percussions and two hold aloft the lamps. Kotti Urayikkal (drumming in different rhythm) marks the beginning of the Thidambu Nritham. This would persuade the performer and the viewer to an equal extent. The performer will dance with the rhythm holding the “Thidambu” on his head and will create a holy atmosphere. This unique ritual art form has undergone changes over the period of time.

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