Aivar natakom is a prominent rural drama of Kerala.
Aivar natakom or Aivar Kali literally means a play of five people or Pandavas. People of Viswakarma community of Kerala perform this art form. It includes five communities that are Aasari (carpenter), Mussari (Brassmith), Thattaan (Gold smith), Kalthachan (Mason) and Kollan (Blacksmith).
Aivar Natakom is based on Hindu legend Mahabharata. Bhadrakali, a Goddess of Hindus determines to revenge Pandavaas, who killed one of the devotees of Karna. On hearing this, Lord Krishna, a friend of Pandavaas comes to their help. He turns himself into a lamp and makes them sing and dance in praise of her. Pleased by this, she turns away from this.
This art form is mainly performed in temples of Kerala. Aivar natakom is performed on a stage with a wick lamp adorned with different colorful flowers around it. Permanent platforms for the performance of Aivar natakom are there in some of the villages of Kerala like Pallipuram, Adattu, Olarikkara and more. Kali Asaan is the central character of this play. The performers mask their face with sandal wood paste, wear white dhoti and a towel tied around their heads.
Aivar natakom is usually performed in the night. The performance starts with Ganapathy Pooja or ritualistic prayer to their deity. At first, the dancers rounds around the wick lamp, in the second stage, they perform using swords and shields. The performance gradually grows vigorous as the song proceeds. Elathalam used in this performance adds to its enjoyments. And the rhythmic movements of footsteps by striking the sticks according to the music are a beautiful sight to enjoy.
Aivar natakom, a famous dance drama of Kerala holds only moral themes that makes the art form more enjoyable.