An introduction of Mohiniattam by Bharati Shivaji

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India’s classical dancer Bharati Shivaji performs Mohiniattam.

The contribution of Bharati Shivaji to this exquisite & graceful dance form of Kerala would certainly be a special chapter. A rare combination of performer, choreographer, author & Guru, Padmashri Smt. Bharati Shivaji’s name has today become synonymous with Mohiniyattam.

Her tryst with Mohiniyattam began at a time when this dance form due to neglect and indifference was languishing in Kerala. At a time when there were no takers for this beautiful dance form, Bharati realized it’s immense potentiality which had never been explored.

At the behest of the late Smt. Kamaladevi Chattopadhayay, she undertook research in Mohiniyattam under a fellowship scheme from the Sangeet Natak Akademi.

For further research, she received yet another senior fellowship, from the Dept. of Culture, Ministry of HRD, Govt. of India.

Initially beginning her research under Sri Kavalam Narayana Panikker, one of the most illustrious authorities on theater in the country, Bharati has been researching in Mohiniyattam for over two decades which eventually became the cause of her life. She has played a significant role in the reconstruction of the dance form, reorienting & revitalizing the concert format, & expanding the parameters of its technique & idiom. Until then, the repertoire of Mohiniyattam remained limited & repetitive.

She has been conferred one of India’s highest honour — the title of ‘PADMASHRI’ — for her tireless efforts, devotion & comittment to the cause of Mohiniyattam.

For her invaluable contribution to the art of Mohiniyattam, the title of ‘LASYA LAKSHMI’ was conferred on her by the Kunchan Nambiar Memorial Trust, Kerala. She was honoured with the Sahitya Kala Parishad Samman by the Delhi administration & the prestigious title ‘NRITYA CHOODAMANI’ conferred on her by the Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Chennai.

Source : thiraseela.com

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