Chavittunatakam is a traditional dance form of Christian community of Kerala. It was evolved during the 16th century during the invasion of the Portuguese. The story about the origin of this dance form is that when the Portuguese came to Kerala, they did not find any cultural forms to spread their myths and legends among the people. They were very much impressed about the Kathakali art but they were not willing to spread their myths through the medium of Kathakali. So they created another dance drama of their own with the help of Malayali scholars. This is what was developed into Chavittunatakam. It was initially developed as a theatrical art and then came under the churches. Earlier it was performed from stages but now they began to be conducted from inside the church as well. The language for the dance is a mixture of both Tamil and Malayalam. The performers wear foreign costumes. This play involves several characters wearing bright colored dresses.
The performer himself sings as well as dance and they make exaggerated gestures. The actor sings song and in addition to dancing, they tap their feet loudly on the wooden floor which produces resonant sounds. The word meaning of Chavittunatakam itself is ‘Stamping Drama’. The performance is considered to be a success if the stage caves and the platform collapse as a result of the pressure of the stamping. An important part of Chavittunatakam is foot tapping dance, fighting and Kalaripayattu. The themes for Chavittunatakam include stories of King Napoleon, adventures and life of great heroes like Charlemagne. During the 18th century some spiritual themes like Allesu-Natakam, Cathareena Natakam etc were used as themes. The themes used in the 19th century include Sathyapalan, Njanasundhari etc.