Monday, 2 September 2013

Oppana-Muslim Dance Form

Oppana is a renowned form of social amusement amid the Muslim
community (Mappila) of the gods own country of Kerala in Southern part of India.
The word Oppana is believed to be derived from Arabic word Afna. It is specially performed and displayed in the districts of Calicut, Malappuram and Canaonore of Kerala. It was originated during the make-up ritual of Muslim bride. This dance form is performed to venerate the matrimonial partying of the bride and is part of the bridal celebrations.

The varied musical instruments that are played while performing this dance are; Ganjira, Tabla, Elathaalam and Harmonium and the only song which is sunged on this particular occasion is Mappilapaattu which is sung by a leader and then the chorus is repeated.
There are two types of Oppana; Oppana Murukkum and Oppana Chayal, Oppana Chayal is the one which starts with the Chayal and ends with Chayal and is celebrated without clapping hands
.   
Oppana is commonly presented by the female community with a total of 15 members including the musicians in a circle. The bride with a full decoration of gold ornaments, fineries, sits among the circle of dancers on a chair (Peetam) in the middle. The dancers dance in a generous way with graceful movements of the body and the songs that they dance into are usually includes teasing comments to the brides shy emotions. 

Two or three girls start the song and the rest of them join in the chorus. This dance is performed one day before the wedding day celebrations. The language of the song is a combination of Arabic and Malayalam. Sometimes the men also participate and perform Oppana; it usually takes place when the bridegroom leaves for the bride’s residence where the marriage (Nikah) takes place or at the entering time of Maniyara. 

Oppana has been extinct from Tamil Nadu but it has been increasing its significance in Kerala by performing in the stages of various Youth Festivals. In most of the places the demand for this dance form has been growing so; it is presented as a stage item.  

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