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Mohinyattam 

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Mohiniyattam, A Elegance in motion, a traditional dance form from Kerala, India, characterized by graceful movements, storytelling, and enchanting expressions.

Mohiniyattam

A classical dance form from the state of Kerala, southwestern India. The dance is performed by women in honour of the Hindu god Vishnu in his incarnation as the enchantress Mohini.

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"Elevating spirits through Bharatanatyam, we nurture tradition, creativity, and passion to shape expressive, confident dancers for a harmonious world."

- Guru Smt. Arundhati Singha John 

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Mohiniyattam Dance Courses 

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Mohiniyattam, a classical dance form hailing from the picturesque state of Kerala in South India, is a mesmerizing art that embodies grace, storytelling, and cultural richness. With its distinct movements, expressive gestures, and evocative narratives, Mohiniyattam weaves a captivating tapestry of tradition and aesthetics that continues to enchant audiences around the world.

Historical and Cultural Roots

Mohiniyattam, often referred to as the "Dance of the Enchantress," has a history deeply rooted in the cultural heritage of Kerala. Its origins can be traced back to the devotional and temple traditions of the region, much like Bharatanatyam. The dance form was nurtured in the royal courts of Kerala and evolved over centuries, blending elements of regional folk dances with classical aesthetics. Mohiniyattam is known for its lyrical and graceful movements, inspired by the swaying of palm trees, flowing rivers, and the gentle rhythms of Kerala's lush landscapes.

Technique and Aesthetic Beauty

At the heart of Mohiniyattam's technique is its emphasis on lasya, or the feminine aspect of dance. Dancers wear off-white or cream-colored traditional attire, characterized by the distinctive double-layered pleated skirt (mundu) and a beautifully adorned blouse. The dancer's movements are soft, gentle, and fluid, akin to the movements of a swaying creeper or the graceful gait of a woman. Intricate hand gestures, known as mudras, convey a range of emotions and stories, while the eyes and facial expressions play a crucial role in expressing the nuances of the narrative.

Narrative Tradition

Mohiniyattam is known for its rich storytelling tradition. Performances often depict tales from Hindu mythology, folklore, and classical literature, with dancers taking on multiple characters through their expressions and body language. The abhinaya (expression) aspect of Mohiniyattam allows artists to connect with their audience on a profound level, transcending language barriers to convey emotions and narratives with subtlety and depth.

Musical Accompaniment and Instruments

Live music is an integral part of Mohiniyattam performances. The traditional ensemble typically includes the melodic notes of the violin, the rhythmic beats of the mridangam (a percussion instrument), and the soulful tunes of the flute. The synergy between the dancer and the musicians creates a harmonious blend of music and movement, enhancing the overall experience for the audience.

Revival and Global Recognition

Like many classical art forms, Mohiniyattam faced challenges over the centuries, but it experienced a revival in the 20th century thanks to the efforts of dedicated artists and cultural enthusiasts. The tireless work of individuals such as Kalyani Kutty Amma and Guru Kalamandalam Kalyanikutty Amma played a crucial role in preserving and popularizing Mohiniyattam. Today, the dance form is recognized and celebrated not only in India but also on international stages, where it continues to captivate audiences with its unique charm.

Cultural Significance

Mohiniyattam reflects the cultural ethos of Kerala, encompassing its deep spiritual and artistic traditions. It serves as a cultural bridge, connecting the past with the present and providing a platform for the preservation of regional heritage. Beyond its artistic merits, Mohiniyattam also represents the empowerment of women in the performing arts, as it is predominantly performed by female artists who convey stories and emotions with finesse and elegance.

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Meet our Mohiniyattam Guru

Brief profile of our Guru who forms the bedrock of Nritta Dhyana. Her journey and passion is a lighthouse, eternally illuminating a path toward the revival of Indian art forms. 

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Jathika Chandran

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Check out our other courses

NAPA offers diverse classes, including Bharatanatyam, Mohiniyattam, Kalaripayattu, and contemporary dance. Explore the rich tapestry of Indian arts and contemporary expressions with us.

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