Theeyattu Kali

Theeyattu is a solo dance-drama performed in front of the Kalam or Dhooli Chitram (ritual drawing with coloured powders). It is enacted in some Bhagavathy temples of Thiruvalla, Kottayam, Thripunithura and neighbouring areas. The ritual starts with the invocation of Lord Ganapathy, Lord Siva and goddess Saraswathy, after which the performer dons a crown smaller but similar to the one used in Mudiyettu.The most popular story narrated through a Theeyattu performance is that of the duel between goddess Kaali and the demon Daarikan. The dance form is usually performed by a small group of temple bound communities called the Unni. Theeyattu is still a ritual offering made every Friday at the Pallippurathu Kaavu temple near Kottayam town.

Theeyattu is done by a single actor called Theeyattunni. He enters the venue, lighted by a huge oil lamp, with the make up of goddess Bhadrakali, minus the headgear. He chants several hymns invoking the benevolence of various gods for the success of the performance and welfare of the audience. He wears the huge headgear in front of the audience. From that moment onwards he represents the goddess. The performance is presented as if Bhadrakali is reporting the incidents leading to the killing of Darikasura to her father, Lord Siva, represented here by the lighted lamp.
The performance develops through several chants, dances of thandava style, gestures and gesticulations. The gestures are rarely in strict accordance with Hastha Mudras of classical dance. The script, prose or verse, of the goddess is rendered by the actor, whereas all others are rendered by one of the accompanists. The act is concluded by the enacting of the killing of Darikasura, representing the destruction of evil.