Kattaikuttu is a form of theatre practiced in rural districts in northern Tamil Nadu. It uses song, music, dance and costumes and drama and ritual to engage and entertain the audience. The performances go through the night and are usually powerful, high-energy, intense events that temporarily recreate the mythical world of kings, gods and sages on earth. Many a times these performances trigger emotional responses in spectators and performers causing some of them to fall into a trance-like state at particularly dramatic moments.
One of the most popular episodes from the Kattaikuttu performances is Karna moksham, about the tragic hero Karna who is portrayed as an extremely generous king, caught on the wrong side during the war.