Mohiniattam

A gentle and graceful semi – classical dance form, Mohiniattam or the dance of an `enchantress’ or Mohini, is often showcased against the music of a lullaby, composed by the poet Irayiamman Thampi. The dance as soothing as a lullaby is loosely based on the mythological enchantress, Mohini, a form taken by Lord Vishnu, one of the triumvirate gods in the Hindu pantheon, in the battle between good and evil.

The origins of the dance can be traced to its early precursor, Dasiattam, a dance performed by women as an offering to the gods at temples across Kerala. The theme of Mohiniattam usually dwells on longing for one’s beloved in all cases with a devotion to Lord Krishna, a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu.

Mohinattam is a blend of pure dance (nritta) and expository dance (nritya). Seven distinctive items make up Mohiniattam; cholkettu, jattiswaram, varnam, padam, tillana, slokam and saptham. Dance steps or adavu are of four types; taganam, dhaganam, jaganam and sammisram. Five gaits which make up this beautiful art form are the frog, swan, peacock, koel and the snake.

The costumes of Mohiniattam are a visual treat. Cream two piece pleated sari with a wide gold border and gold ornaments clothe the danseuse. Make up includes the hair tied in a bun encircled by a string of Jasmine flowers with kohl to enhance the expressive eyes.

Through body postures and mudras, soft graceful and flowing footwork , this dance enchants you completely.