A folk art form popular in southern parts of Kerala, Kakkarissi Natakam is a musical dance-drama which has a peculiar structure. The protagonist in most of the plays is called Sundara Kakaan, who represents the Kakkala community, a nomadic tribe of fortune-tellers. The play opens with a welcome song and Kakaan enters the stage. The artistes dance in rhythmic steps as the songs are sung.
The ‘Thampuran’ (Lord) will be seated on the stage as the questioner. The question-answer session between the ‘Thampuran’ and ‘Kakkalan’ moves the play forward. The play progresses with lively songs and vibrant dances. Scenes are enacted with dialogues, music and songs as in the erstwhile musical plays. The instruments used are Harmonium, Mrudangam, Ganchira and Kaimani.
The Kakkarissi Natakam includes social criticism, satire, etc. The art form is believed to have originated from Kakkarissi Vedarukali of Malavedar in Tamil Nadu, and the language used in the play is a blend of Tamil and Malayalam.
To see Kakkarissi Natakam, check the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_ymkb7ZQ0U&t=610s