Ottan Thullal is a dance and poetic performance form of Kerala. It was introduced in the eighteenth century by Kunchan Nambiar, one of the Prachina Kavithrayam (ancient triad of poets) of Malayalam. It is usually accompanied by mridangam (a barrel shaped double headed drum) or idakka (drum and cymbal).
In Ottan Thullal, a solo performer, with green makeup and a colourful costume (decorated with a long red and white band and painted wooden ornaments), acts and dances while reciting dance (Thullal) lyrics. A chorus or one artist repeats each sentence as it is completed.
Ottan Thullal is based upon the classical principles of Natya Shastra, a treatise on performance arts, written in the 2nd century B.C. The word Thullal means to ‘jump' or ‘leap about' in the Malayalam language. Tradition has it that Nambiar, the poet, fell asleep while playing the mizhavu for a Chakyar Koothu performance, inviting ridicule from the chakyar. In response, Nambiar developed Ottan Thullal, which parodied prevalent sociopolitical issues and regional prejudices.


Ghumura dance is a folk dance of Kalahandi district of the Indian state Odisha. It is classified as folk dance as the dress code of Ghumura makes it look more like a tribal dance. But there are arguments about mudra and dance forms of Ghumura bearing more resemblance with other classical dance forms of India.
There is evidence of the prevalence of this dance form in the 10th century AD. By the 12th century, Ghumura dance was already popular. This is evident from a scene of one person playing the instrument Ghumura in a stone-hole of the Nritya Mandir at Konark Sun Temple. Bhimeswar temple in Bhubaneswar shows another scene of Ghumura dance, reconfirming that the origin of Ghumura dance was around the 10th century AD.