Nangiar Koothu is an offshoot of the Koodiyattam theater which combines dance and drama. The dance is performed by women of the Nambiar clan (scholars in Sanskrit) called Nangiars and hence the name Nangiar Koothu. The theme of Nangiar Koothu is the story of Lord Krishna as described in his historical texts called Sree Krishna Charitam. It commences with a ritual dance called Purrapad.
The danseuse as the well as the mizhavu (holy drum) player performs a number of obligatory rituals. Performance takes place before an oil lamp and auspicious objects like a measure of grain and a sprig of young coconut palm.