Mohiniyattam . What is it?

Also known as Mohini-attam. Mohiniyattam is one of the two major classical dance forms having its origin in Kerela. First is Kathakali and second is this dance form . Having its origin in Kerela this dancehas its textual evidence from 12th century onwards.

Like every Indian classical dance form this dance form also has its origin from the Sanskrit text Natyashastra. This dance form is predominantly performed by women.


This dance form is known as Mohini-attam as it is derived from Mohini, The female avatar of lord Vishnu in the Hindu mythology.Here now I am going to tell you the story behind this dance form. Mohini is the divine enchantress and the supreme seductress avatar of Lord Vishnu. According to Hindu Mythology Mohini appears between the battle between Gods(Devas) and Evils(asuras),When the evils won the battel and gained the nector of Immortality (Amrit) ,Mohini appeared  dressed rapturously in her youthful bloom and used her charms to seduce the Evils(asuras) and the Evils who were seeking her favors gave the Amrit to her to distribute among themselves, Instead of giving the nector to them she gave it to the God depriving evil from gaining Immortality.That is why the performer of this dance form dress up really beautifully.

This dance form is that is why really delicate and graceful and performed by women only . This dance form follows the structure of Lasya dance in Natyashastra, Which is really graceful and seductive dance.


Its a dance form which primarily focuses on Abhinaya(expressive dance form) Its a solo expressive dance performance which is aided by Singing and music .

This dance form has two dance forms Nritta( Pure dance) and Nritya(expressive dance). In modern time sometimes includes Nrittya(group play form) too.

The basic posture of this dance form is known as Ati bhanga which means parted feet, knees bent outwards, erect upper torso and side swaying of body along with hips.

Attire of the performer in Mohiniyattam.

The attire includes an off which or creamed color sari embroidered with golden lace. The upper body is covered with fitted choli( blouse) matching the sari. The waist is highlighted with the golden belt in which the front of the saari is tucked in. The performer do not wear any mask like Kathakali dance form.

The makeup of the performer is quite natural and the lips are highlighted with intense red lip color. The jewelry involves hand bracelets, Necklaces, earrings, ring bracelets. The ankles are adorned with read leather belts containing Bells(ghungroos). The eyes are lined with thick liner by which the eye movements can be highlighted. The hair bun is tucked on the left side and ringed with the fragrant flowers.



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