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What is Mohiniattam?


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Mohiniattam Dance - Semi Classical Dance Form, Kerala, India

Women Oriented Dance Form - Expressing Love & Devotion for God

What is Mohiniattam?
Mohiniattam is a semi-classical dance from Kerala which is only performed by women. The most distinguishing features of this dance are the gentle, flowing, rhythmic and feminine steps that the dancer takes through the dance performance.

Concept & Origin of Mohiniattam Dance The term Mohiniattam can be broken down to "Mohini" meaning a maiden or beautiful lady and "Attam" meaning dance. To put it simply, Mohiniattam refers to the dance of a beautiful woman. This dance form took its shape during the popularity of the Devadasi system. Over time, Mohiniattam attained the status of one of India's main classical dance forms'.

Mohiniattam Dance Themes Mohiniattam was primarily performed to express deep love and devotion to God. The main themes of this dance form are expressions of love for Lord Krishna or Lord Vishnu. The dancer uses her facial expressions as well as her eyes to express a number of emotions heatfelt feelings.

Mohiniattam Dance Costumes Unlike other classical Indian dance costumes, the costume of Mohiniattam dancers is simple and understated. Dancers typically wear a white or creme saree with a bright, golden zari border. Another important feature is the side bun decorated with white kasmine flowers. Gold jewellery such as necklaces, anklets, ankle bells, bangles and waist bands add greater beauty to the dancer.


During the Mohiniattam dance performance, acompanying music is primarily Carnatic Music along with accompanying musical instruments such as the Violin, Mridangam, Cymbals and the Veena, etc.

Famous Mohiniattam Dancers

Some of the well known masters of Mohiniattam Dance include

  • Vijayalakshmi
  • Gopika Varma
  • Radha Dutta
  • Pallavi Krishnan
  • Sunanda Nair
  • Jayaprabha Menon


Contributions are Invited Are you a Mohiniattam Dancer? To add greater value to this page, we invite you to contribute your picture in your traditional Mohiniattam dance costume for inclusion on this webpage. We'll surely add your name under the picture as a token of thanks (Courtesy:) Email us at [email protected]

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