Seeking a Renaissance in San Francisco
Mohiniyattam, is a classical Indian dance that originated in the South Indian state of Kerala. The dance is meant for solo performance by women. The name of the dance translates to “dance of the enchantress.” The themes of the dance form are mainly centered around the Hindu god, Vishnu.
The dance was created in the court of King Swati Tirunal by one of the members of the Tanjor Quartet. It was danced in the courts by devadasis and has influences of Bharatanatyam and Kathakali.
In the 20th century, the artform was revived by people like King Swathi Thirunal Rama Varma , Sri Vallathol Narayana Menon, and Smt. Kalamandalam Kalyanikutty. There are 40 basic movements or atavukal in Mohiniyattam and several eye movements that are characteristic to the art form.
Mohiniyattam will not be performed at the Traditions Engaged festival, but here is a preview of the dance form: