Temple Arts of Kerala- Nangiar Koothu & Mohiniyattam

Bengaluru , September 2018. ElderlAid, along with Nrithyaami, are hosting a classical dance event on September 29, 2018 in honor of World Elder’s Day which is on October 1. The performance includes Kerala's temple art forms; Nangiar Koothu, is an allied art of Kutiyattam and Mohiniyattam on September 29, 2018 at ADA Rangamadira.

Nangiar Koothu

Hailed by UNESCO as a master piece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity in 2001, Kutiyattam of Kerala is the only surviving Sanskrit theatre tradition of India. It claims an antiquity of 2000 years. Kutiyattam is the predecessor of Kathakali.

Nangiar Koothu is a solo performance with an antiquity of 1500 years. It is the sole domain of female artistes, originally performed by the Nangiar amma (the female members in the Nambiar community). The stories for the performance are taken from the text Sree Krishna Charitam, depicting the life of Lord Krishna. The actress presents the stories of Lord Krishna through hand gestures, facial expressions, and body movements to the accompaniment of the mizhavu and edakka (classical percussion instruments).

The Nangiar Koothu Artist – Priya Krishnadas

A trained Mohiniyattam performer and teacher, Priya was mesmerized with the Nangiar koothu form while watching a performance in Chennai. Moving to Palakkad, Kerala gave her the opportunity to learn and experiment with this traditional art form. As a student of Vasanti Narayanan and under the guidance of Padmashri Narayanan Nambiar, Priya has recently performed her arangetram under the aegis of the Gurukulam and continues to learn the form.


Mohiniattam (also spelt as Mohiniyattam) is one of India’s eight classical dance forms and has its roots in Kerala. It gets its name ‘Mohini’ from the famous female enchantress avatar of Lord Vishnu. The origin of Mohiniattam, the dance of the enchantress, is obscure. At the phase of the revival of our indigenous arts, post independence, history revealed that in the 19th century at the court of Maharaja Swati Thirunal of Travancore, this dance form

received great patronage. However, during the repressive British rule of India, all classical dance forms saw a severe decline. It was in the early 20th century, that Mohiniattam saw a revival led by the great poet Vallathol Narayana Menon, who introduced it as part of the curriculum at Kerala Kalamandalam which he established in 1937.

Mohiniattam is an exceptionally graceful form and performed largely in slow and medium tempo. The various angles of the swaying torso and the constant shifts in the levels performed by the dancer reminds the viewer of the swaying palms and the undulating

waves of the sea in and around God's Own Country - Kerala.

The Mohiniattam Artists

All the Mohiniattam artists are members of the Nrithyaami troupe and students of Mrs.Jayashree Mundkur.

Dr. Vandana Nadig Nair – Vandana is a Serial Entrepreneur (CoCoon Consulting, Phicus Social Solutions and ElderAid Wellness). She also teaches Mohiniattam.

Bindu Ramanathan - Bindu is a Senior Academician at Vibgyor High School.

Nirupama Kamath – Nirupama is a Technical writer and German translator.

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