Oyilattam ஒயிலாட்டம்

The folk dance, Oyilattam, is a beautiful and graceful dance,originated from Madurai, TamilNadu but practiced across many places in Tamilnadu. The word ‘oyil’  means grace and ‘attam’ means dance. Traditionally, the dance was performed with a few people standing in a consecutive order with two colorful pieces of cloth in each hand wearing identical colored clothes. They dance distinctive steps to rhythmic patterns played on the thavil, a percussion instrument. The dancers wear bells or chalangai on their feet.  In villages, this dance is mostly performed during festivals and temples on auspicious days. Oyilattam usually portrays stories from both folklore and mythology like Ramayana. Lately Oyilattam is more prominent in village events and also has female dancers.


STAR enables the men and women in the US to learn from artists in Tamilnadu and perform the original art form. The Oyilattam artists perform in several cultural festivals spreading the interest and awareness of the art form thus propagating the Tamil culture.Oyilattam is also taught to young children to pass down the tradition to upcoming generations.

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