Details shared by Ramakrishnan A, Palakkad
Oyilattam is a traditional folk dance form originated in Tamil Nadu and is presently performed in connection with Temple festivals and cultural programs. The word ‘oyil’ means ‘beauty’ and ‘attam’ means ‘dance’, and no doubt Oyilattam dance is really beautiful. The dance is performed by a group of men, with rhythmic steps, accompanied by a musical instrument called Thavil. The dancers wear colorful dress, with a colorful band tied around their waste and a handkerchief on their hands. They also wear ankle bells and perform intricate body movement and footwork similar to martial art. Though the dance was originally performed by men, nowadays women also perform Oyilattam. The dance is based on stories related to Lord Muruga, Mahabharata and Ramayana.
It is performed as a part of temple festivals and cultural programs. You can see it during Palani Temple festivals.
Local men and women artists undergo training by dance troupes before performing the dance.
Originally started as a ritual art form, it has now reached the public stages and is also recognized as an art form in Tamil University.