This is what I call a real Tamil Nadu dance. This super dance style lays maximum emphasis on the beat. The best thing about dappan koothu is that it is informal. Anything goes and this gives the dance a sense of freedom that cannot be matched. (Ok, maybe 'disco dance' is also like that...but this is so very local-Tamizh).
One does not need formal training in dance to do a dappan koothu. In fact, perhaps formal training will not help for dancing dappan koothu, since you need to let go. You just need to get with it, feel the beat, groove and MOVE. The moves can range from very stiff to very loose. Cool, huh?
Ideally, the dancer's back will be straight, with head held high unless the step requires you to bend a bit. The impression is one of confidence and mock seriousness. Then come the funny steps which make the others laugh and stop their dappankoothu for a bit. Seriously, life does not get more fun than the uninhibited dappan koothu. 'Koothu' itself was (I think) derived from a sanskrit word meaning dance, but is also loosely used to describe a fun scene or incident with some amount of chaos in it. Dappan Koothu is for everyone -- those with grace and...those without.
Ideal film songs for Dappan Koothu of different types and moods (maybe available on youtube)...but hardly a comprehensive list:
1. Vaalameenu from the film Chithiram Pesudhadee
2. Jalsa pannungada from Chennai 600 028
3. Surangani from where I dunno (!)
4. Annatha aadurar from Aboorva sagodharargal (quite an orginal dappan koothu variety)
5. Appadi Podu from Gilli
6. Singari sarakku from Khakhi Chattai
7. Indadi Kappakazhange from Dhool (PUCCA dappan koothu beat)
8. Kathala Kannale from Anjadhey
9. Nakku Mukka from Kaadhalil Vizhundhen
10. Yennadi Muniyamma (remix version?) from Vaadhiyar -- stylish yennadi muniyamma
Some people look down at dappan koothu. They are the uptight la di da ones. Quite 'ignorable' folks, those, only fit for a cuppa and smooth, formal talk. Besides, who gives them right to look down at any folk dance?
The only thing is you have gotto be in the mooood for dappan koothu.
Dappan Koothu -- very very 'local' and very very good.