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The dance is a celebration of marital chastity and female energy, for this is what brought Kamadeva (Cupid of Indian mythology) back to life after he was reduced to ashes by the ire of Lord Siva, the Destroyer, one among the Trinity in Indian mythology. The sinuous movements executed by the dancers during Thiruvathirakali around a nilavilakku (the traditional oil-lit wick lamp made of brass), embody lasya or the amorous charm and grace of the feminine. The dance follows a circular, pirouetting pattern accompanied by clapping and singing. Today Thiruvathirakali has become a popular dance form for all seasons and the rituals linked with it are hardly observed. Also known as Kaikottikkali it is an important entertainment folk art of Malayalee women during Onam season.

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