© 2023 Dr. M. Sheppard

Dances Evening Watch Midnight Watch Morning Watch Patient Dancing Fire Dance Finale

The Morning Watch Dances

The Morning Watch

First Sanni Dance

In the tovil dances I attended, Pandem Paliya appeared first. His appearance is precluded by loud drumming and noises from within the Demon Palace. This shakes violently and then he bursts out holding lighted torches on which dummala is thrown causing flames to shoot skywards. He represents death and wears an enormous lion mane mask. In two of the tovil dances I attended there were actually 2 Pandem Paliyas who danced together.

They held lighted torches in each hand. He/they dance around the Performance Area pausing from time to time in statuesque poses staring threateningly at members of the Audience. Then they/he at the end of their performance, wave their torches three times over the head of the Patient before retreating back into the Demon Palace.

Striking poses

Entering the Performance Area from the Demon Palace

Dancing with two lighted torches

An Assistant with the dummala follows the demon so that he can replenish his torch as he dances, throwing flames high into the air.

At the end of his dance he returns to the Demon Palace

In two of the tovil dances I attended there were actually two Pandem Paliyas who danced. They danced in the same way as when there was only one dancer.

A Video showing this spectacular dance is available on You Tube on the following link: