folk art, exclusively practised by the Nair community of the
Palakkad area, Kanyarkali owes its origin
to the pursuit of martial arts in this region, which was under the
constant threat of an attack from neighbouring Konganaadu.
Dance and comedy were pitched in to add vigour and colour to these training practices. Kanyarkali combines the agile movements of martial arts with the rhythmic grace of folk dance.
Performed during March-April in temples as well as in places called 'Thara', a venue for informal gatherings. The dance is accompanied by folksongs and percussion instruments.