Kozhikode

Learning lessons from a Mohiniyattam maestro

Kalamandalam Sugandhi Prabhu guiding students at Angaharam, a workshop on Mohiniyattam, in Kozhikode

Kalamandalam Sugandhi Prabhu guiding students at Angaharam, a workshop on Mohiniyattam, in Kozhikode | Photo Credit: K. Ragesh

It is not every day that you get to watch a legend perform. The 15 students who were participants of ‘Angaharam’, the Mohiniyattam workshop organised by Dyuti and Natyadhara with the help of Chavara Cultural Centre in Kozhikode from April 30 to May 4, were lucky in that aspect, as Kalamandalam Sugandhi Prabhu made an impromptu performance amid the workshop. More so, they got to learn from the legend herself for five days.

At 72, Ms. Prabhu exuded grace and charm, the prerequisites for being a perfect Mohiniyattam dancer, even though her movements were slightly restricted by her ailing limbs. “This is one dancer who has been an integral part of Kerala’s Mohiniyattam landscape, performing shows, nurturing talents, researching the history of the art form, and organising events,” said Gayatri Madhusoodhanan, dancer and director of Dyuti, before giving her a ‘Guruvandanam’ along with the students.

The five-day workshop began on April 30 with artist Madanam drawing a sketch of a Mohiniyattam dancer. The participants were from varying professions and of all age groups, who have basic training in Mohiniyattam.

Dancer Vineetha Nedungadi made a lecture demonstration on the concepts of ‘Lokadharmi’ and ‘Natyadharmi’ in Mohiniyattam on the second day, while R.L.V. Nimesh Sharma made a demonstration of the rhythms, followed by a demo-talk by Vinaya Narayanan. Rachitha Ravi intoriduced to the students ‘Balarama Bhaaratham’ by Karthika Thirunal, considered a Kerala equivalent of the Natyasastra, on May 2. Ms. Prabhu conducted the lecture demonstration on the topic ‘Karana Prayogam’ on May 3.

The workshop concluded with a performance by the participants on May 4. ‘Mohiniyattathinte Amma’ (Mother of Mohiniyattam), a documentary on Kalamandalam Kalyanikkutty Amma by Vinod Mankara, was screened on the occasion.


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Printable version | Jun 25, 2022 3:02:44 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/learning-invaluable-lessons-from-a-legend/article65401374.ece