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Monday, April 15, 2019

The Mohiniattam Dancer

It is to the patronage of the young King Swati Tirunal, followed by the arduous efforts of art poet laureate Vallatol, that mohiniattam was preserved as the only solo dance form among India's classical dances. It originated in the temples of Kerala, wherein female dancers assisted in temple ritual by adding gestures to the chants of the priests. This evolved into a dance form that is markedly expressive and feminine. Such is the doll that you see on this page, a classical mohiniattma dancer who enchants onlookers with the seductive beauty of her skill. Indeed, the word 'mohiniattam' translates to 'the dance of the seductress', and this exotic doll has all the characteristics of the celestial mohiniattam dancer.


Celestial, because it is said that Lord Vishnu Himself had transformed into a woman of exceeding beauty in His quest to play with the minds of the asuras. This happened in connection with both the samudramanthan and the Bhasmasuravadh episodes. This lifelike doll captures the grace of mohiniattam to perfection. Beneath the signature cream-coloured gold-bordered silk drape are a pair of long legs caught amidst dexterous motion. Her delicately moulded hands are arranged in the hamsaysa and the ardhachandra mudras. Her gold shringar complements her pristine complexion to perfection. From her lifelike, skilfully made-up face to the stance of her lissome roopa, this doll on a shelf would add dynamicism to your space.

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