Malayalam Dance Numbers We All Grew Up With – Part 1

Dance and Music have always been an integral part of Indian Cinema. From the time when Chitrageetham was the only program which allowed us to watch music videos to when it was made available on YouTube, Indian Filmmakers have always used music videos to grab eyeballs and provide a moment of celebration for the audience. While the Music Video revolution took over in the north with channels like MTV or V, we were at the mercy of the local cable TV channel that ran poor quality ripped music videos 24X7. 

Nevertheless, some of the older dance numbers were popular for the crazy moves and innovative picturisation; there are some elements that catch your eyes and make you want to watch the song for some special moments! 

We’re presenting some of those gems here: 

Niram – Prayam Nammil

Niram was an industry hit in the year 1999. As quoted by Film Companion, this was THE film that defined cool and what was in vogue for a generation that grew up in the late ‘90s. With Vidyasagar’s magic working, all the songs were immediate chartbusters with cassettes a part of every household. I was in particular, fascinated with this song called “Prayam Nammil” for my Mudi-neettiya-chettan! I watched it for his ‘hair-crobatics!

Millennium Stars – O Mumbai

Millenium Stars is said to be the first Malayalam movie to be released in this millennium. With a storyline that talks of two singers from Dharavi trying to make it into the music industry, we made the concept cool way before Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy (19 years before Gully Boy!) . And again, the maestro Vidyasagar released this song called ‘O Mumbai’ that featured Western Cowboy styled costumes and nightlife with neon lights. I would always wait for this scene in the dance number where three supposed dummies, painted in black and wearing coat-suits would break the glasses and come out to join them to dance.

Satyam Shivam Sundaram – Avva Avva

Another movie from the 2000s, Sathyam Sivam Sundaram, again a Vidyasagar Superhit, featured great dance numbers. “Avva Avva” topped the list! Back when flashmobs were unheard of, Rafi Mecartin duo decided to shoot the sequence in a bus-stand. And my hook scene in this song was the lady from the beauty parlour! Flying out of the parlour, she just threw in some crazy energy into the song.

“Walking in the Moonlight” is another Vidyasagar Gem, beautifully choreographed and picturised. Hariharan just amazes with his soothing vocals. But I fancied the painted background dancers who seem to be stationary at one point and moving in the next second. Go check it out! 


“Nandalaala” song is every Malayalis’ go-to song during every Anthakshari game! From the movie, Independence by Vinayan, led by actors like Vani Vishwanath, the movie was a hit of the times. One of the best scenes in the song was when Kalabhavan Mani would swirl and land in the middle of the dance procession and show off his crazy moves! Miss you Manichetta! 

Thenkashipattanam – Pachappavizha (Ente Thenkaasi)

Thenkashipattanam with its standalone comedy numbers and great music was a super hit, with Suresh Gopi and Lal at the helm, and Dileep and Salim Kumar supporting the comic threads. “Pachappavizha (Ente Thenkaasi)” music video highlights Dileep and his dance crew! Looking back, we see a bit of his Chandupottu Stint within the song! 


Manthrikam – Dhim Dhim Dheemi Dheemi

Mathrikam is a 1995 Blockbuster movie starring Lattettan and directed by Thambi Kannanthanam, the man who made a Superstar out of Mohanlal. It also marked the film debut of Vinayakan, who appeared as a member of a gipsy dance group. He apparently imitates and wears the attire of Michael Jackson. You can see him flaunt some MJ moves in the song “Dhim Dhim Dheemi Dheemi”! 

Ayal Kadha Ezhuthukayanu – Kuppivala

“Njangalokke Danceinu vannatha! Group Dance” from the song “Kuppivala” from Ayal Kathayezhuthukayaanu is a rare occasion where the background dancers are given a dialogue, although as a comic element! It is a treat to watch the song with all these background dancers making a colourful presence. 

Honorary Mentions 

“Pazhanimala” is an anthem for all the Mohanlal fans. At the beginning of the song when Mohanlal sings “Orupoykkal kuthiramel thanichirunnurangunna Venkiteshaa..”, it immediately brings out a celebratory mode within us. 

Another fan favourite from the  movie Ravanaprabhu is the “Thakilu Pukilu”song with Mohanlal, Jagathy and the Hindi model, anchor, and actress Kashmeera Shah featuring in it. Who can forget the “Meeshaaaa” scene where Mohanlal catch hold of Jagathy’s moustache?

Let us know what your favourite ‘Ellarum Dence Kalikk’ moments are in comments!

Check out part 2 here!


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