Theru Koothu is another folk dance famous among the rural
people of Tamil Nadu, which is normally conducted
during village festivals, during the months of Panguni and Aadi. Theru
Koothu is more popular in the northern districts of Tamil Nadu. The
'Koothu' can be categorised as "Nattu Koothu", including "Vali
Koothu", "Kuravai Koothu", etc. "Samaya Koothu"
dealing with religious topics, "Pei Koothu" including "Thunangai
Koothu" and "Porkala Koothu" dealing with martial events.
During festivals three or four streets meet in open air and the place is lit by gaslights, a wooden bench is set up to seat the singers and the musical troupe. Make-up and costumes are considered of prime importance in Theru Koothu. Only men take part and they also play the female roles. The performance consists of storytelling, dialogue rendering, songs and dance, all performed by the artistes.
To perform this dance it is believed that the artiste should have a very good performing ability. The stories are taken from Puranas, epics such as Ramayana and Mahabharata, and also local folklore. Usually the play starts in the late evening and gets over only during the small hours of the nights. The performance is so interesting that the audiences are spellbound unaware of the longs hours.