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  Life   More Features  06 Mar 2019  High on emotions

High on emotions

THE ASIAN AGE. | RADHIKA VASHISHT
Published : Mar 7, 2019, 12:05 am IST
Updated : Mar 7, 2019, 12:05 am IST

A dialogue between like-minded classical dance forms.

Kavita Dwibedi and Manjula Murthy
 Kavita Dwibedi and Manjula Murthy

Mohiniyattam, is one of the two Indian classical dance forms that evolved in the state of Kerala, the other being Kathakli. Although its roots date back to the age-old Sanskrit Hindu text on performing arts called ‘Natya Shastra’, similar to other Indian classical dance forms, This dance form adheres to the Lasya type that showcases a more graceful, gentle and feminine form of dancing.

The word Mohiniyattam derives its name from the word ‘Mohini’, a female avatar of Lord Vishnu. Conventionally a solo dance performed by female artists, it emotes a playthrough dancing and singing where the song is customarily in Manipravala, which is a mix of Sanskrit and Malayalam language and the recitation may be either performed by the dancer herself or by a vocalist with the music style being Carnatic.

Mayurbhanj Chhau by Rakesh Sai BabuMayurbhanj Chhau by Rakesh Sai Babu

The dance form emphasis was placed more on lyrical expressions than rhythmic concerns. Subtle and restrained depictions of emotive expressions and body movements, which were swaying, undulating yet controlled became the inherent feature of Mohiniattam.

Recently, Delhi experienced a graceful evening of dance, The Mohiniyattam Collective- Samvaad with other dance traditions by the senior disciples of Guru Padmashri Bharati Shivaji. The evening was a brilliant combination of Mohiniyattm, Odissi and Chhau.

Anwesa MahantaAnwesa Mahanta

“My effort has always been to continually enrich and expand Mohiniyattam beyond its existing frontiers, even in terms of exploring possibilities of its growth in conjunction with other styles that can complement its mood and aesthetics well. SAMVAAD - the collective, is another attempt towards this goal, to synchronously explore Mohiniyattam’s adaptability with like-minded dance traditions. The dance traditions have chosen as part of the Collective lend well to each other,” Guru Bharati Shivaji said.

A dialogue between like-minded classical dance forms at an evening hosted by Centre for Mohiniyattam, led by Eminent Mohiniyattam veteran Padmashri Guru Bharati Shivaji. The performances were accompanied by Chhau, Odissi, and Manipuri.

The evening began with Sattriya. Graceful, lyrical and soft-footed in nature, it is practiced as a ritual in the Vaisnava monasteries, with an invocation based on the compositions of Namghosha by Sri Sri Madhavadeva who was the principal apostle of Srimanta Sankaradeva, it was set to Raga Bhatiyali and Ektala.

Followed by Mohiniyattam, which began with Thyani, an invocation to Gaja Devi Lakshmi who is accompanied by elephants.

The next performance of the evening was Mohiniyattam by Manjula Murthy and Odissi by Kavita Dwibedi with obeisance to Lord Jagannath residing in Puri followed by Obeisance to Lord Padmanabha, the patron deity of the Travancore rulers.

And the show ended up with the depiction of Shiva and Parvati with Mohiniyattam by Vani Bhalla Pahwa and Mayurbhanj Chhau by Rakesh Sai Babu. In a union when Parvati sees a woman on Shiva's locks and she questions him, Shiva tries to distract her, saying it is only natural.

“We just saw some of the finest performances by the artists here. As a Guru and dancer myself, I’m totally enthralled and have still not been able to come out of the magical Samvaad created by such lovely performers.” Guru, Bharti Shivaji added.

Tags: classical dance