Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Again... Sharing you with a serious discussion on Mohiniyattam that is taking place in Facebook!


    • Sreevalsan Thiyyadi മദ്ധ്യകേരളത്തിലെ തൃശ്ശൂരില്‍ ആണ് ഏകദേശം രണ്ടു പതിറ്റാണ്ടായി താമസമെങ്കിലും, മലയാളിയല്ല പല്ലവി കൃഷ്ണന്‍ (പോംപി ആചാര്യ) എന്ന മോഹിനിയാട്ടം നര്‍ത്തകി. ഇന്നത്തെ ബംഗ്ലാദേശില്‍ വേരുകള്‍ ഉള്ള, പിന്നീട് പശ്ചിമ ബംഗാളിലെ ദുര്‍ഗാപൂരിലേക്ക് ചേക്കേറിയ കുടുംബക്കാരിയാണ്. (അച്ഛനമ്മമാര്‍ അടുത്തിടയായി കല്‍ക്കത്തയില്‍.)

      വിവാഹം കഴിച്ചിട്ടുള്ളത്‌ കണ്ണൂര്‍ ചൊവ്വ സ്വദേശി കെ കെ ഗോപാലകൃഷ്ണന്‍ എന്ന കലാനിരൂപകനെ. ഒരു മകള്‍ ഹൈസ്കൂള്‍ വിദ്യാര്‍ഥിനി. ഇത്രയും വ്യക്തിപരം.
      Yesterday at 9:45am ·  ·  5
    • Sreevalsan Thiyyadi വിഷയം അതല്ല: ആദ്യം ബംഗാളിലെ ശാന്തിനികേതനില്‍ കഥകളിയും പിന്നീട് ചെറുതുരുത്തിയിലെ കലാമണ്ഡലത്തില്‍ മോഹിനിയാട്ടവും പഠിച്ച നര്‍ത്തകി. കേരളീയ കലയായ കഥകളിയില്‍ മലയാളികള്‍ അല്ലാത്തവര്‍ പെരെടുക്കാതിരിക്കുമ്പോഴും മോഹിനിയാട്ടത്തില്‍ ആ പ്രശ്നം വരുന്നില്ല. മഹാരാഷ്ട്രക്കാരി കനക് രെലെ (ബോംബെ), തഞ്ചാവൂര്‍ സ്വദേശി ഭാരതി ശിവാജി (ദല്‍ഹി), അവരുടെ പുത്രി വിജയലക്ഷ്മി...

      മലയാളി അല്ലാത്തവര്‍ക്ക് മോഹിനിയാട്ടം പഠിക്കാനും ആ കലയില്‍ തെളിയാനും വിശേഷിച്ച് ബുദ്ധിമുട്ടുകള്‍ ഉണ്ടോ? ഉണ്ടെങ്കില്‍ എന്തെല്ലാം?

      ചര്‍ച്ച വരും എന്ന് പ്രതീക്ഷിക്കുന്നു.
      Yesterday at 9:46am ·  ·  8
    • Nikhil Kaplingat കഥകളിയില്‍ പ്രോബല്‍ ഗുപ്തയുടെ പേര്‍ അടുത്ത കാലത്ത് കുറച്ചു കേട്ടു തുടങ്ങിയിരിക്കുന്നു.

      http://www.narthaki.com/info/rev11/rev991.html 
      Yesterday at 9:57am ·  ·  3
    • Sreevalsan Thiyyadi For a broader invitation to the subject, Pallavi Krishnan is one of the very few non-Malayali artistes to have gained name in the Kerala dance form, Mohiniyattam. Is/are there any particular reason(s) to it? We invite discussion from members of this Group.
      Yesterday at 10:00am ·  ·  1
    • Sreevalsan Thiyyadi Maybe the couple can themselves share their views: Pallavi KrishnanK.k. Gopala Krishnan. :-)
      Yesterday at 10:05am ·  ·  3
    • Dev Pannavoor Sunanda Nair Supriya Rajan also please share your views..
      Yesterday at 10:10am ·  ·  1
    • Supriya Rajan Sreevalsan Thiyyadi sir, to reflect more from your post in Malayalam, let me add a few more lines... "while kathakali and other traditional performing art forms of Kerla doesnt witness many non keralites becoming proficient in them, Mohiniyattam, has seen many exponents from outside kerala who have contributed to its propogation. Are there any hurdles that dancers from outside Kerala face while trying to learn the Kerala dance form of Mohiniyattam? This is a question open to Mohiniyattam artistes to share this larger perspective.
      Yesterday at 10:23am ·  ·  4
    • Dev Pannavoor Sangeetha S Sangeetha Emilie Revéret-Therakkadavath please share views....:)
      Yesterday at 10:28am · 
    • K.k. Gopala Krishnan Sreevalsan, it shows the growth of Mohiniyattam after a long stagnation for several reasons. Additionally what I feel (personally) is that in general Bengalies commitments to arts are relatively at a higher level, they give professional status to it.

      Without prejudice let me also add: Being a non Keralite taking up Mohiniyattam and living in Kerala itself and doing a lot of programmes within the state too, initially Pallavi faced a lot of 'politics' and in fact that resulted in boosting her commitment - her reciprocation was through practices, new choreographies and performances completely ignoring such forces. Fortunately or unfortunately, being a writer on arts, people who don’t like me for their personal and artistic reasons too turned as her foe!

      When Kerala girls and most of the dancers, even known Mohiniyattam Gurus, were lavishly practicing all the three south Indian dance styles and talking about purity of Mohiniyattam she bothered to choose only one form and stick to it – learned from Kerala Kalamandalam, Bharati Shivaji, Kalamandalam Sughandhi, etc….. During the last three decades how many Mohiniyattam dancers trained from the Kerala Kalamandalam got a place in the national and international performance circuit is also another question.
      Yesterday at 10:39am ·  ·  5
    • Supriya Rajan I want to say that Pallavi Krishnan was my inspiration to take up Mohiniyattam, after seeing one of her interviews on TV and i had approached her and she was very kind and helpful.
      Yesterday at 10:44am ·  ·  1
    • Sangeetha S Sangeetha Yes Mr. Dev my views are like this…



      Mr. Gopalakrishnan is true it is very difficult to hold on to an art especially an artist outside Kerala. I read once about the hardships Ms. Pallavi has gone through during her early days.

      But one thing is there if an artist is sincere and hardworking with their art then God will reach us where we have to reach despite of the criticisms and politics around.



      One thing about my view about the Guru’s (not everyone some of them) within Kerala ( I have only communicated with them) is that they restrict themselves in many aspects.

      I have even come across with some strange experiences. There are Gurus who think that once they acknowledge one disciple then the others feel bad and so they do not acknowledge. This is one strange experience which I faced when I approached my Guru to give me a letter when I wanted to apply for the first government festival. I told her if my request is going to affect her, I do not want the letter and I applied without that and by God’s grace I got that beautiful festival in Karnataka and I could perform very well and that was my beginning from then I started performing in lot of festivals organized by the Karnataka Government.



      The above one is one of my experience. But all those bitter and nice experiences actually has given the confidence to go ahead in my artistic life and gives me the courage to do more things.



      During my journey in life I have learnt that a person should motivate themselves and should aim big and work hard.



      Hard work will yield fruit one day, only thing is one should have the patience to wait for that. Things will happen in God’s Own Time Trust this move ahead.



      With sincere regards,

      Sangeetha

      Head – Marketing & Business Development



      LOVE NATURE! ITS GOD’S GIFT TO EACH OF US!!
      Yesterday at 1:29pm via  ·  ·  7
    • Emilie Revéret-Therakkadavath To answer you and because you asked for my opinion. Firstly, I must tell you that although I understand Malayalam orally, I do not read it. Also, I miss the beginning of the conversation. So I do not know if my views will be objective ... But I think that from the moment you practice a dance or any art form, whatever it is, wherever it comes from , we must work with devotion. Both in relation to the work towards our Guru who use the same devotion to teach you and send you a sacred and ancient art, it is not worthwhile to ask the question of legitimacy to dance and promote practical artistic. What matters is the sincerity that one brings to his practice and is not to betray the culture from which it comes. I was lucky, and I m still lucky and I hope I will be for a long time (because we must never stop learning, and I hope to continue my training again, until the last breath of my Guru, where such is her wish) to have received a traditional teachings and which, in addition to the artistic dimension, made me aware of the world and universe around us through every gesture, expression and intention of this dance. I spent a lot of time in Kerala (I married a Keralite, years ago) , also, during ten years, and...I could understand the Univers where is from Mohiniyattam. I needed it to understand Mohiniyattam, because besides the fact that it is an art form, it is also an ambassador art of Kerala, inspired by Keralite culture, Keralite landscapes and nature....So I needed, also, to understand Kerala! and it is also all those keralite cultural parameters that we are translating in Mohiniyattam dance. To learn Mohiniyattam is to learn Kerala. I learned also to love Kerala in practicing Mohiniyattam. I think Mohiniyattam dance was an important vector, also, for me to understand Kerala and its culture. For me, to dance is like a prayer. Concerning the words of Mister K.k. Gopala Krishnan, I believe to compare Bengali approach of art and Keralite approach of art is very interesting. The past and the History of both of those states are differents, but similare in some sides...as to its politic, as for the efforts that poets have committed to restoring dignity to the dance and the arts froms like Vallatol or Tagore. And we must not remember that , it was a time, when, Tagore came in Kerala with the wish and the conscious to encourage to preserve the cultural and artistique heritage of Kerala, He insisted on Mohiniyattam! He was right..To export Mohiniyattam is also to export Keralite Culture. It is a vehicle of this culture. Why not, but it has to be done with sincerity and concsious about what is Kerala and what is from Mohiniyattam, including the spiritual dimension of this dance ...and a lot of work to be honest in the practice..
      Yesterday at 2:27pm ·  ·  6
    • Sreevalsan Thiyyadi Thanks for the response, Emilie Revéret-Therakkadavath

      Just to point out a piece of irony, and then a request to elaborate a point that has come as a passing reference in your detailed comment.

      First thing first. Rabindranath Tagore, as you say, insisted on Mohiniyattam (long time ago), but his Santiniketan is yet to have a department that teaches this Kerala performing art.

      Well, the spiritual dimension of any art evokes curiosity among its buffs. More so in the case of Mohiniyattam, which was known for long as the dance of the seductress. Could you please elaborate on the point. Leisurely....

      Thanks.
      Yesterday at 9:32pm ·  ·  4
    • Nanditha Prabhu When there was a cultural resurgence, and a need for revival of arts, in the early and mid-20th century, it was not limited to any particular area, but was a pan Indian phenomenon. The creative energies of many stalwarts crossed boundaries and established centres of arts like Shantiniketan, Kalamandalam and Kalakshetra.
      When the hunt was on for spotting the first Guru for Mohiniyattam, Mahakavi Vallathol found O.Kalyaniyamma. When Rabindranath Tagore, visited Kalamandalam, he surely would have been enchanted by the graceful Mohiniyattam. When the poet Laureate returned back to his Abode of peace, he carried with him the most eligible Mohiniyattam Guru then, O. Kalyaniyamma, thus planting the roots of the art form in a land that was far away geographically but with a common cultural acumen.
      The segregation of art forms and languages in our head today, was not the same in ancient times. Even the world of theatre had not a single play with one language. The colonial attitude of dividing land and people was never an Indian way. Even though the language of Mohiniyattam seems very different to the lay spectator, a sensitive artist can see the unity it has with all the other art forms of its land of origin, Bharatavarsha.

      Mohiniyattam can only be performed by a Malayalee , I think, is a myth. If you have the heart for art, and a love for it, and if you are blessed with a great Guru, and the urge to learn never dies, then what can stop you from going deeper into any art form?

      My mother, Kalamandalam Sugandhi being a Konkani speaking Gauda Saraswat Brahmin from an orthodox family, and being the first to take up dancing as a career, could make a mark of her own with her sheer determination and dedication and sincerity to art. So the question of being a Malayalee is surely not the primary criterion for the art.
      22 hours ago ·  ·  4
    • Sreevalsan Thiyyadi Just in case the trigger point in this post has given a wrong impression, the question was not judgmental, but simply innocent: Does a non-Malayali face extra hardships in learning/mastering a Kerala performing art that is Mohiniyattam. (One point that still remains rather unaddressed in this whole thread is the language barrier -- if at all 'barrier' is the apt word.)
      22 hours ago ·  ·  3
    • Shruthi Kp hi all: its art, art has no such borders... how many understand sanskrit or speak it before dancing it? how many know the science behind colors as they paint it. culture and emotions is pan india only expression and communication differ, but when we r narrating the same story, same emotion how does it matter what language or culture we come from? now, its not just region based culture but also time based. there is modern, conventional, urban, rural cuture... but when it comes to dance, nothing matters but the way a dancer performs and dances thats all!!:) na i dont think anybody feels hard to learn any art form unless its been imposed on them. and how well they absorb the form depends on gift n practice. n mohiniyattam is not rocket science. its art...u feel it in u u can do it. u dont feel it, u cant perform it no matter how much malayalee or non malayalee, intelligent or artistic u r.
      9 hours ago ·  ·  3
    • Shruthi Kp i i wrote post samanvesh 2012, its a look into the progress in mohiniattam by thinking outside the box.
      9 hours ago ·  ·  1
    • Shruthi Kp Crossing borders
      Time. Truth. Change
      All of the above have varied dimensions and perspective. Perhaps, this is
      is the reason why everything in our world is constant and yet it
      is not.
      Art ,being the greatest mystery of all, relies more on creativity than
      logic , on heart more than on mind. But it cannot be completely removed
      from the mind either. This is the universal truth, whether it is art on paper, canvas or stage. I have always believed that the responsibility of an artist is not to let tradition stagnant but let it evolve. And this requires intelligent artists.

      Mohiniattam when seen in all is an atom in the universe of art.
      The reason for it being in darkness is that the majority of art purists seem to be unfortunately in this field. At
      times, intellectuals forget the base of Mohiniattam, that it is dance and then it
      becomes a classical subject of study. One artist, connoisseur in every generation has created innovations that have evolved the dance. But many of their generation have criticized the step and hence, let the art stagnant for years. Let us not forget that when Poet Vallthol wanted to introduce the art in Kalamandalam, there were hardly any takers. Until Krishnan Panikker, Kalyanikutti Amma, Shanta Rao came into light.
      Mohiniattam is an age old dance of Kerala and one of the most beautiful
      dance forms. Its swaying movements are ever graceful and subtle. It became a study of interest at the
      Kalamandalam in 1930 and was further modified to fit the title ‘classical dance form of Kerala’.
      After its revival, Mohiniattam has come a long way. If one were to watch a documentary on Shanta Rao or hear and read descriptions of the old versions of Mohiniattam, one would hardly see any similarity between the past and present. Once known as the poor cousin of Bharatanatyam, the reason for Mohiniattam to develop its individualistic streak is artists who dared to take it beyond the borders to a new audience. Artists, who crossed the borders of the land, dared to expand the limits of the form by exploring literature and movement thus adhering to a foreign audience. They dared to break the rigidity of performance and the purist thought. Thus, they are hailed and condemned for their theories. Art is not just of entertainment , it is also for thinking. It is intellectual
      enjoyment, one needs to create to love it .
      One creates for not only external satisfaction but also for internal.


      . The most celebrated name among all is Padmashri Bharathi Shivaji, whose continuous rigorous work for past decades established Mohiniattam on international arena as a lasya form. Individualistic and innovative, she discovered a new idiom of Mohiniattam by experimenting with movements of other Kerala traditional arts. As a result, her movements, though within the norms, looked vibrantly graceful as compared to
      repetitive repertoire of that era Bharathi Shivaji is the most known to common man. Her work has tested
      limits of Mohiniattam and resulted victorious.
      She also used visual media to make documents and films to popularise the form. A regular piece in Mohiniattam repertoire ,Jayadeva’s Astapadis, was first introduced into the form by her .

      Currently located in Delhi, the centre of the cultural hub, the Guru (along with her daughter Vijaylakshmi) continuous to evolve the dance form.
      .
      Dr. Kanak Rele , the head of Nalanada Institution of fine arts in Mumbai approached the art academically and also initiated Mumbai university to introduce classical dance as a subject. Dr. Kanak Rele experimented with the work from a completely different dimension. Her approach
      to her art was scientific .She is our own Laban who based her theory on the kinetic study of body and derived notations and movement. She introduced a formal Mohiniattam degree in her Nalanada Institute , Mumbai.
      The school has given the world some great Mohiniattam soloists, Sunanada Nair being one of the first.
      Both the Gurus internalised the dance form through their theories formatted and polished it over decades of research. Hence when the dance crossed borders of Kerala and the traditional frame of mind, it was recognized by the common man outside the land. Many others have formed their own styles and took the dance to a different region and expanded the limits of Mohiniattam Literature. In Karnataka, one prime example is Sreedevi Unni who through much effort brought the kannada audience closer to Mohiniattam by creating ballets performed to kannada language and choreographing within in the thought process of Karnataka tradition and culture.
      she has been the lone Mohiniattam artiste for many decades in the state.
      but does expansion of the art mean creation and innovations only? some have stayed within the region and yet evolved the traditions in their own manner. Guru Nirmala Panicker who strictly adheres to Kalyanikutti Amma’s school of Mohiniattam went reverse and
      brought back the old compositions removed from the repertoire.
      she with much hard work re choreographed 5 removed dance works which were then considered offensive ,and they are now performed by her students. The name Kavalam Narayan Panicker is synonymous with
      Mohiniattam , the one under whose tutelage many dancers became thinkers. He is the sole reason to bring a very debatable but still rooted music form: Sopanam, into Mohiniattam. Many new genres of choreographic works are introduced with sopanam music.
      There are many of the younger generation who work tirelessly to maintain the individuality of the art form.


      Today Mohiniattam has crossed Kerala to reach Japan, England and
      America. Yet, the field faces a lack of tolerance.
      there is too much of blame game happening and there is
      inability to accept a co artist’s work.
      experiment and change are
      constant and these are rules of time. However, the power of how we
      experiment and what we change lies within us. Experiments and practice of today
      become traditions of tomorrow so we need to ask ourselves …” Is it a
      intellectual responsibility that I am ready to take up?” but then again anything without content cannot stand the test of time.can it?
      9 hours ago ·  ·  1
    • Sreevalsan Thiyyadi Thanks for the detailed response, Shruthi Kp. Yet, I'm still not totally convinced about the first in your three-part series. Dance, no doubt, has NOTHING to do with literature. That way, like in the case of music, language is NO barrier to either appreciating it or learning it. But that point, I feel, seeks to cover up a reality as much as it tells about it. Just to cut the matter short, just an example: a Carnatic vocalist can elaborate on a two-line 'niraval' in a Telugu/Sanskrit/Tamil/Kannada/Malayalam composition, least knowing its meaning and completely focusing on the raga journey. But, can a Mohiniyattam artiste elaborate similarly without any idea about the language in which the lyrics are sung in the background?
      9 hours ago · 
    • Shruthi Kp Sreevalsan Thiyyadi[ making a enormous effort not to call u sir]mmm.. you ll be amazed. at the basic level it is possible... beyond that u do ur research, for eg: panimathi mukhi bale is in a language i dont understand, then what do i do? i research and find out the meaning translate it to a lang i know and apply the emotions. i blv its not difficult for any indian to this . cuz everything expressed in that particular language is a culture and emotion they r already familiar with. difficulty might rise with movement[thats where it differs from music] cuz for a dancer her communication is anga and bhava abhinaya. also the kind of difficulty that u speak of surely will rise for a person alien to indian culture and society. why does a woman blush? how can she so easily accept her lord who was with another. once when i thought a japanese bharatanatyam, she did the movement very well, difficulty was to explain sringara and hence the dance itself looked alien. so u see difficulty in indian dance is not the literature or a particular form of dance at all. its something else altogether.
      9 hours ago ·  ·  2
    • Shruthi Kp ‎*taught
      9 hours ago · 
    • Shruthi Kp and if the question is can a non malayalee survive successfully in this form. lol that depends on individual s surviving instincts. but if sreedevi unni ,as a malayalee can survive in karnataka, bharathi ji, kanak ji and pallavi ji as non malayalees then...kind of answers that one.
      9 hours ago ·  ·  1
    • Emilie Revéret-Therakkadavath Mister Sreevalsan Thiyyadi, I think you made a big mistake telling that Mohiniyattam is a dance of seductress! It is a dance of enchantress! it is very different!
      7 hours ago ·  ·  4
    • Narayanan Mothalakottam I fully agree with Shruthi Kpregarding her answer on the language bar. for learning the dance form language may not be a problem (if the Guru-Shishya speaks a common language). and mastering the art depends on a lot, in which getting experience with the performance on stage is a main factor in supplement to the artistic talent & intelligence. like other kerala classical art forms of kathakali & kootiyattam (where most of the stages are in kerala only), mohiniyattam may not have this limitations. there are many places where mohiniyattam is performed as part of various dance festivals etc. Dr. Kanak Rele, Bharathi Shivaji & Dr. Deepthi Bhalla all have most of their stages out side kerala. but getting stages depends on many factors, where language could also play a factor when it comes in kerala. but understanding the sahithya is a major role in performance & choreography which may not be that easy with the non-malayalees (but now a days even the malayalee youngsters may not understand the sahithya for which they also require help from somebody else). but in my opinion understanding & interpretation of sahithya not only depend on the language but understanding the kerala culture also plays a vital role in that. for a non malayalee who has not lived in kerala could find hard in this case without help of some one fully understand it.
      Now mastering the art. All the non malayalee masters of mohiniyattam having a malayalee master playing behind (like Kavalam to Dr Kanak Rele). what I feel is in addition to the artistic talent & intelligence and hard work, a malayalee support from behind play vital in surviving in the field of mohiniyattam & also mastering the art from. In this case I think a non malayalee might find little more hardship in surviving & mastering the art of mohiniyattam asSreevalsan Thiyyadi doubted.
      6 hours ago ·  ·  3
    • Appan Varma my opinion is that Mohinyattom is more lasya than dance and any woman can do this dance well if she understand the story and meaning.If a man can do a lasya dance which can attract woman can it be called MOHANA ATTAM.Also that it will be more difficult for somebody trained in more classical dance forms to adopt to Mohiniaattom .The photo given by Srivatsan gives this out clearly.Shruti k.p-- pl see that some of the lady elders(a generation earlier) in marumakkathayam family married again just by sending away the existing husband.We had no so called morality then but Makkathayis had it due to their IGNORANCE (see what is happening in UK;USA etc where the mothers name alone is recognised )
      6 hours ago · 
    • Shruthi Kp Appan Varma sir im sorry, but i dont understand. are you refering to something i mentioned ?
      5 hours ago · 
    • Appan Varma yes ,your commernt about accepting her lord etc.i enjoy mohiniyattom well and had the pleasure of seeing almost all, from kalyanikkutty amma down.Had taken many people to Kalamandalm where i begin or end it with a Mohiniyattom performance for them.Mohini attom developed like Bharathanatyam but has become simpler in dance but stronger in facial expression .( more attractive). Both forms has become classical.
      5 hours ago ·  ·  1
    • Sreevalsan Thiyyadi Two things. Quickly:

      Shruthi: Your views on the “survival” of a non-Malayali artiste in Mohiniyattam is (only) an addition to the scope of this discussion. The primary question was limited only to knowing whether they face added difficulties in learning/mastering this art form.

      And, Emilie: Sorry, for the wrong expression. My mistake. In fact, I earlier meant only enchantress. Having said that, I now doubt whether it was a Freudian slip. With what little male psychology I know (as a man myself), there is effectively very little difference between an enchantress and seductress.
      5 hours ago ·  ·  1
    • Narayanan Mothalakottam I don't agree to Sreevalsan Thiyyadi's comment "Mohiniyattam, which was known for long as the dance of the seductress". its because of the "AANKAZHCHA" which was discussed some time back in another thread. shrungaram & lasyam cannot be just taken as seductress, which has a meaning above all. even if the audience see the "vashyatha" on the dancer it was not really meant by the dancer while performing.
      4 hours ago ·  ·  4
    • Appan Varma why such words Sreevalsan.i think both words coluld have been used to Mohiniyattom of old.Ask your friends from Majeri area about the janmi who went away with an ENCHANTRESS(?).Not very many decades ago but in a generation before mine.Today Mohiniyattom is more a classical dance style with high respectability for the dancers.Still it is more enchanting than other similar dances of India ( not comparing with Lucknow dance bars of Mughal vintage)And Emille ,pl dont mistake - i am from a matriachial society - where all property will go to woman and where the male goes and stays in the wifes house and where the woman can send her husband away and remarry( no compensation- but never heard of many husbands openly at a time)This cultural or social background may be necessary to know of the base of all art forms - pl correct me somebody
      4 hours ago · 
    • Sreevalsan Thiyyadi Oh, come on Mothalakottam. if I (unwittingly) uttered the word "seductress", it may also have been because of the subconscious mind rearing its head and reminding me of a (questionable?) historical fact: this art form did degenerate for a while into being part of prostitution before poet Vallathol and his contemporaries rescued its status and enhanced its stature in the first half of the last century.
      4 hours ago ·  ·  4
    • Emilie Revéret-Therakkadavath Appan Varma : can u explain me where did I make any mistake????... I don't understand....
      4 hours ago ·  ·  1
    • Emilie Revéret-Therakkadavath Emilie Revéret-Therakkadavath Sreevalsan Thiyyadi : this art form did degenerated because of who??? It is an interesting question...
      4 hours ago ·  ·  2
    • Sapna Govindan on mohiniyattam being more lasya than dance...different forms place stress on different aspects i feel..mohiniyattam on abhinaya and upper body movements as opposed to say kathak, which places more stress on footwork. As someone who practices this dance form i love both the pure dance and expressional dance aspects of this form. The lasya controlled and studied lasya which stumps a lot of students. I have seen bharatanatyam dancers struggle with the lasya of mohiniyattam :) To get it just right...not less, not more!
      3 hours ago ·  ·  1
    • Appan Varma Emile ,you did not go wrong.i just wanted to explain our background and not that of a male hierachy system - our people are considered as patrons of the arts (not excluding other big rich people) .You came to my point when u asked the question "degenerated because of who"
      about an hour ago ·  ·  1
    • Appan Varma was there Mohiniyattom in old travancore area (south of Kollam ,let us say).any great artist from that area.pl mention.A friend asked me this and as i do not know pl let me know
      about an hour ago · 
    • Supriya Rajan Proud of all my fellow artistes for their passionate contribution here. my small point of view is that Non Malayali Mohiniyattam artistes find it difficult to gain acceptance among the Malayali audience, which is a very ironic truth voiced with great disappointment by many Non Malayali artistes who are otherwise widely accepted by non Malayali crowd. I dont know if it is a matter of concern or it can be accepted as the characteristic of a culture. The Malayali audience tend to have a fixed idea of how something should be; as the case here, of a Mohiniyattam artiste: how they should look, how they should present themselves, the aaharya, to mannerisms onstage and offstage too. So i think the greatest hurdle non maalayali artistes face could be that of acceptance by malayali audience which can also be the reason that dance form resists change in Kerala while dancers outside Kerala have the freedom to make necessary changes to the dance form and take it to a wider audience, without facing any ridicule. Also a Man's eye (aan kazhcha) shouldnt be the limit for Mohiniyattam, it can grow and is growing beyond that.
      about an hour ago ·  ·  5
    • Sreevalsan Thiyyadi Fresh point, Supriya Rajan. Thanks. Actually, never knew of such a mental block Keralites allegedly have for non-Malayali Mohiniyattam artistes (far from myself being party to the [so-called] phenomenon). But then, well, such a mindset exists -- at a different but similar level -- in the other classical dance(-drama) from Kerala. Kathakali still has viewers getting segregated in enjoying its southern (Kaplingadan) and northern (central Kerala's Kalluvazhi) styles. As for aan kazhcha (man's eye), don't take my point too seriously. For one, it pertains to a certain extent in most other arts -- irrespective of gender. I mean, there is also pen kazhcha, that way. Take, for instance, present-day Kathakali. I'm yet to be convinced that all female fans of Kalamandalam Gopi attend his shows to enjoy only the aesthetics of that classical art.
      about an hour ago ·  ·  2
    • Aniruddha Varma This has been an excellent thread which has got me engrossed in it from the very beginning. From an ordinary layman or rasika's point of view, I have something to say here. Much has been said about non-acceptance of non-Malayali Mohiniattom artistes inside Kerala. Here one wonders how much acceptance Malayali artistes themselves have gained from Kerala audiences. I may be excused if I am wrong, but I feel that had it not been for overseas patronage and sponsorship, the Kerala arts would not have, probably, gained at least this much appreciation and popularity. And I do not know whether the factor of Malayali-Non Malayali origin of the artistes is given any prominence, overseas. Even though I am not a person qualified to refute the points raised by learned artistes here above, I have a very humble feeling that probably, this thought about Malayali-Non Malayali differentiation is only a figment of imagination. Another point about the "aan kaazhcha", I personally feel that in performing arts gender difference is more a creation in the minds of the artistes than in the minds of the rasikas. Mohiniattom, being an almost 100 percent feminine art form, the concept of "aan kaazhcha" is only hypothetical. I believe a more ideal scenario would emerge when both artistes and rasikas grow beyond this type of confusions and concentrate on the quality of the performance as well as quality of "aswaadana". Thank you very much.
      55 minutes ago ·  ·  1
    • Emilie Revéret-Therakkadavath Appan Varma : I never meant about men...but about english invasions and colonisations.... Sorry Sir..but you went wrong... and I know about matriarchal society of Kerala and Travancore kingdoms... I learnt about Kerala History...
      53 minutes ago · 
    • Narayanan Mothalakottam Supriya Rajan there you said. these necessary changes being made in the art form as part of improvisation probably dilute the core form of the mohiniyattam. the artists who know many dance forms probably as part of improvisation mix some element of other dance forms into it. that could be one of the reasons where wide acceptance is not there in kerala (of course even malayalee artists also have this problem). even i heard many time the senior artists & experts of mohiniyattam in kerala talking that Dr. Kanak Rele's mohiniyattam is not the in the pure form. that's one of the reason Dr. Rele could not get acceptance in kerala.
      36 minutes ago ·  ·  2
    • Sapna Govindan that will bring up the question of what is "pure " mohiniyattam, considering that it was reconstructed in the early days of kalamandalam under guidance of vallathol. Could it be that our ignorance regarding the form of mohinattam as practiced in ancient times lends itself to experimentation, more so compared to other forms? This not forgetting the fact that kalamandalam being the birthplace of mohiniyattam as we see it today, has a certain claim to it.
      18 minutes ago ·  ·  2
    • Sapna Govindan just playing the devil's advocate!
      17 minutes ago ·  ·  2
    • Aniruddha Varma Sapna Govindan, I do not think anybody would object to experimenting with new ideas in Mohiniattom also. As long as its overall appeal remains embedded in 'lasyam' and as long as other dance forms such as bharathanatyam or Kathakali do not encroach into the inner core of Mohiniattom recitals, I believe everything will be all right. Here, I would also doubt the efficacy of the word 'pure' in any dance form, for that matter.
      12 minutes ago ·  ·  2
    • Supriya Rajan You are right sir, there is this possibility of dilution. But as far as i know nobody in the present time has actually seen mohiniyattam in its pristine form, unfortunately. At Kalamandalam, you will know better, there has been lot of borrowing done from Kathakali. Also it is a common practice for most of the dance teachers and practitioners in Kerala to handle many dance forms at the same time. So there is this constant threat of dilution and it is again ironic that it is some of the non malayali artistes who have given complete focus of their study and practice to solely Mohiniyattam. And we had a chance to watch Santha Rao's performance (Santha Rao who learned the dance form directly from Kirshna Panikker Asan) which was entirely of different characteristic. So difficult to restrict the aspect of dilution only to non malayali artistes.
      10 minutes ago ·  ·  2

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