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Famous Mohiniyattam Dancers  
 
Sunanda Nair
  Sunanda Nair

A leading exponent of Mohini Attam, Sunanda Nair has emerged as one of the few practising luminaries of this style of classical Indian dancing.She is considered to be "the prima ballerina among Mohini attam dancer's" and also one of the outstanding performers of the younger generation in India today. Vastly gifted with an attractive demeanour suitable for this form of dancing, Sunanda indeed casts a spell on her onlookers while performing. She exudes vitality, warmth and endows her dance with an added dimension,and she enchants the initiated and theuninitiated alike. It is her ability to infuse beauty in whatever she creates and gives joyousness to her movements and expressions that set her apart from other practitioners. The movements are full of life and endowed with sensitive lyricism.

 
Sunanda is the disciple of the noted Mohini Attam exponent Padmashree Dr.(Smt.)Kanak Rele.,who is renowned for her contribution to the revival and popularisation of this classical dance style. She has the proud privilege of being the first student to earn a Master's degree in Mohini Attam from Nalanda Nritya Kala Mahavidyalay affiliated to the University of Mumbai.Sunanda has prepared for her vocation both as a professional dancer and a teacher of dance, through rich and multifaceted experiences in higher academics, stage performances, classroom instruction and choreography. She is the founder director of Srutilaya Institute of Fine Arts, Mumbai where she imparts intensive training in both Mohini Attam and Bharata Natyam.  
   
   
Jayaprabha Menon
  Jayaprabha Menon

Jayaprabha Menon is one of the most accomplished dancers of the new generation. Her pleasing stage presence and graceful exposition have brought a new aesthetics to Mohiniyattam. Even as she is rooted in tradition, her themes are contemporary and interpretation is bold and novel. She blends in her dance a refreshing originality with traditional discipline. Years of experience as an exponent of Mohiniyattam with an abiding quest for perfection make her different.

Initiated to Indian classical dance by Smt Kalamandalam Saraswathi, Nrityalaya Kerala, She had advanced training in Mohiniyattam under Padmashree Guru Bharthi Shivaji besides training in Bharatnatyam under
 
Smt & Sri C. V. Chandrasekhar, Chennai.

Currently researching on the Regional Taala patterns of Kerala under the guidance of Padmabhushan Shri Kavalam Narayana Panikker.

Jayaprabha has widely performed in India and abroad and has won innumerable recognations for her dedication.
 
   
   
Pallavi Krishnan
  Pallavi Krishnan

Pallavi Krishnan is a leading exponent of Mohiniyattam. She is known for her efforts to promote and preserve this style of Indian classical dance as a living tradition. Initially Pallavi trained in Bharatanatyam and Mohiniyattam under Guru Kalamandalam Sankaranarayanan. She completed her graduation in Kathakali from Shantiniketan (Viswa Bharati University). Her passion for Mohiniyattam led her from Shantiniketan to Kerala Kalamandalam making her the only Indian dancer who is an alumnus of these two coveted national arts academies.

Pallavi continued her studies under Guru Bharati Shivaji and later developed a style of her own, which is marked by creativity in her performance. Her
 
skilful choreography has enriched her repertoire and inspired many young dancers to take up the form.

In 1995, Pallavi Krishnan founded the Lasya Academy of Mohiniyattam, based in Thrissur, Kerala. Lasya is a centre for the promotion of and professional training in Mohiniyattam. Her uncompromising teaching has attracted students from all over the world. A recipient of several honors and awards, the latest is the state award for 2008 of the Kerala Sangeet Nataka Akademi, the official academi of the Government of Kerala for the promotion of fine arts, making her the first non-Keralite to get this coveted recognition from the land of the art form (April 2009).
 
   
   
Gopika Varma
  Gopika Varma

Gopika Varma started learning Mohiniyattam at the age of 10 from Smt. Girija and Smt. Chandrika Kurup, both senior students of Smt. Kalyani Kuttyamma whose student she continued to be for 10 years. Later she specialised in the art form under the able guidance of Smt. Kalyani Kuttyamma herself and her daughter Sreedevi Rajan. She was also fortunate to learn Abhinaya which is the quintessence of Mohiniyattam from Sri. Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair, the doyen of the Kathakali stage. Presently Gopika is running a Mohiniyattam school named 'Dasya' at Adayar, Chennai.

Gopika has performed extensively at various art festivals, sabhas and
 
temples all over India and she has won laurels abroad when ICCR chose her to represent India. Love for this graceful and gentle dance of soft rhythm has enabled Gopika to transmit through movements and expressions that at times sigh with nostalgia, purity and sanctity which translate as her own personal worship of the Divine.

The ancient Travancore royal family has been famed down the age for its patronage of the fine arts. Gopika is married into the family to Prince Pooruruttathi Thirunal Marthanda Varma.
 
   
   
Vijayalakshmi
  Vijayalakshmi

Born into a family with a long lineage of traditional performing arts, it was natural for Vijayalakshmi to take to the classical arts. She was initiated into dance at an early age and was gradually drawn towards Mohiniyattam, the cause her mother and Guru Bharati Shivaji has come to become synonymous with. It is this artistic legacy, a commitment to the cause of Mohiniyattam that Vijayalakshmi has imbibed.

From an early age, Vijayalakshmi has had the opportunity to perform in several prestigious national and international festivals, propagating this exquisite and rare dance form around the globe for over 20 years. Some of the prestigious national dance festivals where she has performed include
 
the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi Festivals, Konark and Khajuraho Festivals, as well as the Krishna Gana Sabha and the Music Academy, Chennai. International Festivals include the Edinburgh International Festival, the International Cervantino Festival in Mexico, and a number of Festivals of India around the globe. She has also been regularly performing for Spic-Macay, presenting Lecture-demonstrations on Mohiniyattam in schools and colleges all over India.

Vijayalakshmi is the recipient of several prestigious honors and awards, including the Sanskriti Nritya Puraskar and Rashtriya Ekta Award. She has co-authored a book along with Guru Bharati Shivaji entitled ’Mohiniyattam’, and has received Fellowships from the Department Of Culture, Government of India, and Indira Gandhi National Centre for The Arts (IGNCA) to pursue research in Mohiniyattam. In 2003, Vijayalakshmi was profiled by the Week magazine as one of 50 Emerging Stars of India to watch over the next decade.
 
   
   
Radha Dutta
  Radha Dutta

Radha's love for Mohiniattam took her to Kerala, where she studied at the home of doyenne Kalyanikutti Amma and her daughter Shreedevi. She has also received training under the guidance of the Dhananjayans and Kalanidhi Narayanan, virtuosos inBharatanatyam in Madras, India. In addition to her training in Carnatic vocal music, she has trained in Nazrul Geeti (Bengali songs by poet Nazrul) from the famous Purabi Datta, in Calcutta. She pursued her university studies in cultural anthropology at the University of Maryland, USA. Radha holds the title of "Nritya Praveen" degree in dance.

A performing globetrotter, Radha has given recitals at "Mandapa" in Paris,
 
in the Maharaja's Palace at the Nishagandhi Dance Festival organized by the Kerala Department of Tourism, several television telecasts, to name a few. Radha is an "A" grade artiste of Doordarshan. She was in the renowned Ananda Shankar (son of Uday Shankar & nephew of Ravi Shankar) Contemporary Dance Troup, in India.  
   
Smitha Rajan
  Smitha Rajan’s

Smitha Rajan’s Mohiniyattom recital had all the finesse expected from one whose legacy stems from her legendary grandmother Kalyani Kutty Amma. A mobile face for mukhabhinaya, Smitha’s cheekbones and eyebrows engage in myriad movement nu ances, bringing out the intricacies of mood at each moment.

The invocation with ‘Unni Ganapathi’ set to Anandabhairavi ragam, adi talam, captured the sense of humour and quaint intelligence of this deity. After paying obeisance to Ganapathi, the dancer’s depiction of Parvati’s responses to Siva, based on Sankaracharya’s ‘Saundarya Lahiri’ verses, sung in ragamalika, saw the dancer’s quivering facial expressions change
 
from mood to mood. Smitha displayed great expressional virtuosity.

Very different in the soaked devotional flavour was Arunachala Kavi’s ‘Kanden Kanden Seethaiyai Raghava’ in Bageshri where Hanuman recounts to Rama his meeting with Sita in Ashokavanam.
 
   
 
 
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