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Oyilattam: Reflection of Tamil tradition

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About Oyilattam Dance

Originated in the southern region of Tamil Nadu Oyilattam is a quite popular cultural dance form. The word ‘oyil’ means elegance or beauty in Tamil and the term ‘atam’ stands for dance.

And so the word Oyilattam signifies graceful dance in Tamil. Followed by the name Oyilattam dance form is an elegance dance form famous in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu- Trichy, Tirunelveli, and in Madurai. But as this dance form is getting popular it can be seen all over Tamil Nadu in recent days.


As the southern town, Madurai of Tamil Nadu has always been the hub for the growth of music, dance and drama it started spreading the nearby regions and gradually Tamilians fell in intense love with dance theatre and music.

They left no stone unturned in exploring the various aspects of this cultural platform. From the very beginning, Tamil rulers were the patron of music and left their footprint in the land of this very state. 

About the dance:

In the early days only men used to perform Oyilattam. Ten men or more than that used to stand in a straight line moving their body with the rhythm of the music.

This dance style has specific hand movements as well as feet movement in a rhythmic beat which is a pleasure to watch. But now in recent days, women are also found performing Oyilattam along with the men.


While performing Oyilattam women were bright colour saree and a piece of cloth tied around their waist and the men also were vibrant Dhotis with a piece of cloth placed around their waist.

This very famous occasion takes place at the starting of a new year, during harvesting ceremony and during other occasions.

While dancing the performers hold flags in their hands and were lots of matching jewellery such as necklaces, bangles and anklets. The anklets make beautiful rhythm with sound beats which are a pleasure to experience.


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