Home > Art&Culture > Rediscovering Mohiniyattam: Mythili Anoop’s Mughlai Vesham Project Unveils Timeless Treasures

Rediscovering Mohiniyattam: Mythili Anoop’s Mughlai Vesham Project Unveils Timeless Treasures

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Mughlai Vesham Project by dancer, Guru Mythili Anoop presented classical pieces choreographed in a innovative way bringing together timeless elegance of Mohiniyattam and contemporary creativity

Mythili Anoop’s Mughlai Vesham Project transcends boundaries, redefining the landscape of Mohiniyattam. In a spellbinding performance that blends tradition with innovation, Mythili and her ensemble showcased a tapestry of compositions that captivated audiences and celebrated the enduring legacy of this ancient dance form.

The dance show at Lamakaan had pieces that bring together other art forms like Kuchipudi and Kathak which Mythili created with the help of Vilasini Natyam Guru Yashoda Thakore and Kathak Guru Mangala Bhat.

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The evening commenced with a soulful invocation to Lord Ganesha, depicted through the graceful movements of sopanam-style dance. Anandhu Murali’s rendition of the ganapathy, set to the rhythms of Ayyadi and Chembada taalas, invoked blessings and set the stage for an enchanting recital.

A surprise performance by the enthusiastic Parinika added a touch of innocence and joy to the evening. With a rendition of “Chetthi mandaaram tulasi,” Parinika charmed the audience with her portrayal of devotion to Lord Krishna.

The performance then transitioned into a jathiswaram, showcasing the intricate movement vocabulary of Mohiniyattam. Neema Nikhil, Sherli E, Unnati Tiwari, and Sangeeta Nair mesmerized the audience with their precision and grace, transporting them into the heart of this classical art form.

“Pahi Parvata Nandhini,” a composition by Maharaja Swathi Thirunal, paid homage to the divine feminine. Through Mythili’s choreography, dancers Neema and Sherli brought to life the majestic beauty of Devi, the daughter of the mountain king.

A poignant Padam captured the essence of longing and separation, as the nayika yearned for her beloved Sree Padmanabhaswamy. Neema’s portrayal of the lovelorn heroine tugged at heartstrings, evoking a sense of empathy and melancholy.

An Utsava Prabandam transported audiences to the vibrant festivities of a temple celebration, with Mythili, Neema, and Sherli embodying the spirit of devotion and celebration. The composition, set to the ninth day of the annual festival at Padmanabhaswamy temple, brought to life the splendor and grandeur of religious rituals.

The performance reached its crescendo with the rare rendition of the Thillana in Ameer Kalyani raagam. Mythili, Neema, and Sherli’s performance paid homage to the rich musical heritage of India, infusing the classical composition with elements of Hindustani music and Telugu lyrics.

The Mughlai Vesham compositions, meticulously researched by Mythili, added a layer of historical depth to the performance. Through innovative choreography and imaginative reinterpretations, Mythili breathed new life into these forgotten treasures, showcasing Mohiniyattam’s ability to evolve while honoring its roots.

Mythili explores the syncretic nature of Mohiniyattam, blending Kerala’s art with diverse cultural elements, enriching its vibrancy. Incorporating Kathak’s courtly style, she infuses Amir Khusro’s Sufi poetry into Mohiniyattam, embodying the spirit of Bhakti. In the secular “salaam daruvu,” she pays homage to King Tulaja of Bhasala dynasty, adapting Dr. Rajyalakshmu Seth’s lines into new jathis for Mohiniyattam. This revival of salaam daruvus in Mohiniyattam acknowledges historical traditions. Mythili credits Dr. Yashoda Thakore and Dr. Rajyalakshmi Seth for their assistance in crafting these choreographies, underscoring the collaborative spirit shaping the art’s evolution.

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In a mesmerizing finale, Mythili presented a solo jugalbandhi, seamlessly blending Mohiniyattam and Kathak movements. With Swathi Thirunal’s Dhanasri thillana as the backdrop, Mythili’s fusion of styles epitomized the spirit of artistic exploration and cultural synthesis. It was her Kathak guru, Mangala Bhatt who helped her in choreographing the kathak segments in this piece.

As the curtains closed on Mythili Anoop’s Mughlai Vesham Project, audiences departed with a renewed appreciation for Mohiniyattam’s timeless beauty and boundless potential. Mythili’s vision and creativity have breathed new life into this ancient art form, ensuring its relevance and vitality for generations to come.