Mohiniyattam Dance Form
Serene undulation of a feminine form with the feather touches of dance from the land of swaying palm trees, Kerala is Mohiniyattam. The soft and languorous movements of Mohiniattam are reminiscent of the swaying palm trees and gently flowing rivers. The term Mohini means enchantress and Attam means dance. Literally meaning "Dance of the Enchantress", Mohiniattam dance form is distinguished by a beautiful feminine style with surging flow of body movments.
The musical melody and the rhythmical swaying of the dancer from side to side and the smooth and unbroken flow of the body movement is the striking feature of the dance form. The movements are never abrupt, but dignified , easy, natural, restrained and yet subtle. The glances, postures, gait employed are so subtle and graceful that they convey the infinite suggestiveness of radiant love. The Mohiniyattam dance focuses mainly on feminine moods and emotions. Usually the theme of Mohiniattam dance is "sringara" or love. Subtle subjects of love are executed with suggestive abhinaya, subtle gestures, rhythmic footwork and lilting music.
It was during the reign of the great poet King Maharaja Swathi Thirunal that Mohiniyattam received considerable patronage. After his untimely demise, adverse circumstances led to the decline of this dance form till when in the 1930's Mahakavi Vallathol founded the Kerala Kalamandalam and once again revived the dance form joining hands with Sri.Mukunda Raja.