Classical Dance: Mohiniyattam

By Asterkv - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Mohiniyattam is a classical dancing form of Kerala in South India. The origin, as well as the appeal of this dance type, is carefully labeled to the fantastic Tamil dancing master Vadivelu, one of the Thanjavur quartets. One amongst the 8 Indian classical dancing types, Mohiniyattam, is a stylish dance to watch and is a solo recital by females. The term Mohiniyattam comes from words Mohini implying a lady who bewitches sightseers and also Attam meaning elegant as well as sensual body movements. Thus, words Mohiniyattam indicates – dancing of the enchantress.

Mohiniyattam has a tale affixed to it based on Hindu belief. It says that after the sea of milk was stirred jointly by the gods and also the devils to extract the panacea of life, the sinister forces took the perfect brew by force. Following the event, Lord Vishnu pertained to the rescue of the gods. He allured the devils by taking the form of a woman with outstanding charm called Mohini and seized the panacea of life from them and commended the gods. The luring acts of Mohini are reflected in the dancing form of Mohiniyattam. At a moment when the Devadasi culture was prevailing in many parts of south India, Mohiniyattam made use of Devadasis (professional temple dancers) in holy places, throughout the dominion of the Chera leaders from 9 to 12 C.E. This dancing kind also has aspects of various other performing dance forms of Kerala viz. Koothu and Kutiyattam in it. Besides, Mohiniyattam likewise came of two different south Indian dance types – Bharatanatyam and also Kathakali. Mohiniyattam, in its very early days, went through ups and downs, which eventually got steadied throughout the reign of King Swathi Thirunal of the quondam Travancore kingdom.

The dance type Mohiniyattam has love and also dedication to God as its significant themes, with generally Lord Vishnu or his version Lord Krishna as the lead character. Mohiniyattam consists of about 40 various standard activities called adavukal, and its efficiency design is characterized by the swaying of hips and the soothing actions with straight body posture from side-to-side. This dance like lots of various other classical dance forms of India follow the sign language (mudra) as defined in the old writing on Hastha Lakshanadeepika to convey the story. These mudras are shared through fingers and also palms of the hands. The musical accompaniment of Mohiniyattam dancing entails what is referred to as chollu. The verses are in Manipravalam, which is a blend of Sanskrit and also Malayalam. Relaxed, yet sophisticated outfit is just one of the aspects that provide Mohiniyattam a distinct identity among classical dance types of India. The attire for Mohiniyattam contains white sari, bordered with a broad golden brocade (called kasavu in Malayalam).


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