Indian Classical Dance - Mohiniyattam

Dance
Mohiniyattam Dance

Mohiniyattam is a classical dance form from Kerala, India. Believed to have originated in 16th century. It is considered a very graceful form of dance meant to be performed as solo recitals by women.

The term Mohiniyattam comes from the words "Mohini" meaning a woman who enchants onlookers and "aattam" meaning graceful and sensuous body movements. The word "Mohiniyattam" literally means "dance of the enchantress".
The name Mohiniyattam may have been coined after Lord Vishnu; the main theme of the dance is love and devotion to God, with usually Vishnu or Krishna being the hero.

Mohiniyattam is a drama in dance and verse.Mohiniyattam is a fusion of 'Bharathanatyam ' and ' Kathakali ', as it combines the graceful elegance of Bharatanatyam and dynamism and vigour of Kathakali.

The Mohiniyattam dance involves the swaying of broad hips and the gentle movements of erect posture from side to side. This is reminiscent of the swinging of the palm leaves and the gently flowing rivers which abound Kerala, the land of Mohiniyattam. There are approximately 40 basic movements, known as atavukal.

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The costume includes white sari embroidered with bright golden brocade (known as kasavu) at the edges. The dance follows the classical text of Hastha Lakshanadeepika, which has elaborate description of mudras (gestural expressions by the hand palm and fingers).

The vocal music of Mohiniyattam involves variations in rhythmic structure known as chollu.

The lyrics are in Manipravalam, a mixture of Sanskrit and Malayalam.

The Mohiniyattam dance is performed to this accompaniment by the subtle gestures and footwork of the danseuse. The performer uses the eyes in a very coy, sensual manner to enchant the mind without enticing the senses.
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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