Usually performed by women as an ode to the female incarnation of Vishnu, which is one of the popular dance forms of Kerala?

Kathakali is another classical dance form of Kerala. Mohiniyattam dance gets its name from the word Mohini – a mythical enchantress avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu, who helps the good prevail over evil by developing her feminine powers.

The dance form Mohiniyattam has love and devotion to God as its major themes, with usually Lord Vishnu or his incarnation Lord Krishna as the lead character. Mohiniyattam comprises about 40 different basic movements called adavukal and its performance style is marked by the swaying of hips and the gentle movements with straight body posture from side-to-side. This dance like many other classical dance forms of India follows the sign language (mudra) as described in the ancient treatise on Hastha Lakshanadeepika to convey the story. These mudras are expressed through fingers and palms of the hands.

In Kerala, there are centres that offer training in Mohiniyattam. The Kerala Kalamandalam, which is a deemed university is the premier centre in Kerala for learning classical art forms, where one can undergo training in Mohiniyattam.


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