Kerala is a state which is well known for its own traditions and culture. Being number one state in literacy and is also an attractive place for the tourists due to the best destination with its beaches, hill stations, backwaters, bird and wildlife sanctuaries etc.
Kerala besides all these is also well known for the variety of its folk and traditional dances. One of such Classical Dance which is popular among the people in Kerala is Mohiniyattam. The word ‘Mohini’ obviously means Beautiful women and the word ‘Attam’ means “to Dance’. Mohiniyattam is referred to as one of the beautiful dance styles performed by the women’s with the surging flow of body movements.
The roots of Mohiniaattam have been derived from the devdasis who used to perform in temples of Lord Krishna it has been developed and now it has become one of the traditional dance performance in the state of Kerala.
The costumes used by the performers are simple saree but looks elegant which is always white or cream-white in color and have a border which is golden in color with matching blouse. The make-up done adds beauty, and grace in the face of the dancer. The face of the dancer is painted in a natural tint with eyebrows and eyes well elongated to heighten her beauty and grace and also there is a large red dot in the center on the forehead called Bindi.All these things are accompanied with the ornaments.
Before the performance a massive tall brass lamp filled with coconut oil is usually used to light the stage. The Dance Mohiniyaattam also called Mohiniaattam is termed as one of the Eight classical dances in India recognized by the Sangeet Natak Akademi.
It has been evolved in the 16th century and was made famous in the19th century by Swathi Thirunal, the Maharaja of the state of Travancore (Southern Kerala) and vadivela. Swati thirunal promoted the dance in his premises with the arrangements of music’s and vocal accomplishments.
The performance includes swaying of hips with gentle moments having an erect posture from side to side; it also includes swinging of Palm leaves and the gently flowing rivers. There are exactly 40 basic movements in it called as atavukul.
The music in which Mohiniyattam is performed includes variations in rhythmic structure known as chollu. The song is a mixture of mixture of Sanskrit and Malayalam called Manipravalam. The foot works of the dancers are very elegant the make-up of the eyes makes the eyes look larger and more expressive.
This mohinyattam is a combination of beautiful music, makeup costumes and beautiful women’s giving a great treat to our eyes.