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Art and Craft

Indian Art and Craft – Mohiniyattam

Indian Art and Craft – Mohiniyattam

Mohiniyattam is a classical dance form of India developed and popular in Kerala. It has its roots in the Natya Shastra, an ancient Hindu Sanskrit text on Performance arts. It follows the Lasya style described in the Natya Shastra. The dance form gets its name from “Mohini” – an enchantress and seductress and a female Avatar of Lord Vishnu.

Mohiniyattam is usually a solo performance. It requires extensive training and flexibility of the body in order to express the enchanting feminine beauty. Carnatic style singing and acting a play through the dance is the specialty of Mohiniyattam.

The sequence of the dance contains seven items Cholkettu, Jatiswaram/Swara Jathi, Varnam, Padam, Thillana, Shlokam and Saptam. The costume is plain white or off-white sari, embroidered with Kasavu (bright golden or gold laced brocade). The dancer wears a fitter Choli (Blouse) matching the Sari and a Golden waist Belt. Simple jewelry is used by the dancer along with facial make-up.

Read more about Mohiniyattam here

Here is a video on basic steps of Mohiniyattam for beginners. Watch and enjoy it.

Video used for illustration only – Credit: Geethanjali

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Born and brought up in Kerala, I did my schooling in Kerala and graduated (B.Sc Physics) from the Calicut University. I have worked with a Swedish Company from 1994 to 2015, as a Senior Project Manager in their Group IT Division in Dubai. This blog is the result of my strong desire to communicate with others, sharing what I know and what I could gather from various sources.


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