Rangaparichaya Festival of Mohiniyattam

3 05 2013
Mohiniyattam, one of the most beautiful classical dance forms of India  originated in 
Kerala. The graceful swinging and swaying pure dance patterns and the elaborate and intricate facial expressions are  unique features of this art form.  Natanakaisiki Mohiniyatta Gurukulam cordially invites you to the annual Rangaparichaya Festival of Mohiniyattam featuring the young and budding talents that are being trained here under the tutelage of renowned Mohiniyattam Guru Smt. Nirmala Paniker..
You are invited 
Executive Council 
(Mohiniyattam Gurukulam of Natanakairali) 
Ranga Parichaya Festival of MOHINIYATTAM – 
Date: 4th and 5th May, 2013 
Time : 5 PM
Venue : Madhav Natyabhumi (Ammannur Chachu Chakyar Smaraka Gurukulam) 
PROGRAMME ( 5pm onwards) 
4th May, 2013 
Talk- By G.Venu 
Mohiniyattam – 
1. Ganapathy sthuti 2.Devi sthuti 3.Cholkkettu 4.Jathiswaram 5.Varnam 
6.Padam7.Thillana 8.Kurathi 

PROGRAMME (5 PM onwards) 

5th May, 2013
Talk- by Smt.Nirmala Paniker 
Mohiniyattam – Ganapathysthuti 1.Cholkkettu 2.Jathiswaram 3. Varnam 4. Padam (Keerthanam) 
5.Thillana 6.Slokam 7.Saptham
Performing Artistes- 
Umadevi A.N, SandraPisharody, Sudharma Periyath, Parvathy Sree Vallabhan, Greeshma Suresh , 
Keiko Okano, Chaithanya Nandan , Parvathy.V. R, Hridya Haridas, Sruthy Krishnakumar, 
Sreelakshmi. T, Anupama Shaji, Rudrapriya, Unnimaya. S, Gayathri. T.Menon, Nandana and Saranya 
Guru : Smt.Nirmala Paniker 
Vocal : Shri .Neelamperoor Suresh kumar and Sanathana Shenoy 
Maddalam : Shri. Kalanilayam Prakasan 
Flute : Shri..Irinjalakuda Vishakhan 
Edakka : Shri. Kalanilayam Ramakrishnan, Kalanilayam Kaladharan 
Nattuvangam : Smt.Meenakshi Menon 
For more Details. 
Smt.Nirmala Paniker 
Director, Natanakaisiki 
Mohiniyattam Gurukulam, Natanakairali, Irinjalakuda, Ph: 0480 2825559, Mob: 9946643958



10th Ranga parichaya Festival of Mohiniyattam

20 12 2011

Natanakaisiki Mohiniyattam Gurukulam of Natanakairali, Irinjalakuda Presents 10th Ranga parichaya Festival of Mohiniyattam


Guru Nirmala Paniker


Mohiniyattam which originated and developed in Kerala is one of the most beautiful Lasya dance forms of India. During the moment of desire of creation, the goddess took the form of Nateshwari /Mohini and danced the ’Sukumara’ graceful (Lasya) dance to attract   Shiva, who is mostly engrossed in deep meditation.

That is the first Lasya dance of Mohini with importance given to Shringara  Rasa, that we can find in the Puranas. The uniqueness of Mohiniyattam is that it still upholds without losing, many of the techniques of the dance style that was being performed since ancient times, mentioned in Puranas that of Adi Bhagavathi for creation of the universe and followed by Maha Vishnu for safeguarding the virtue and ensuring the sustenance of the universe. Natyasastra also says Parvathy is the first danseuse of Lasya. There in lies its importance and relevance.

The uniqueness of Mohiniyattam is that it still upholds without losing, many of the techniques of the dance style that was being performed since ancient times, mentioned in Puranas that of Adi Bhagavathi for creation of the universe and followed by Maha Vishnu for safeguarding the virtue and ensuring the sustenance of the universe. Natyasastra also says Parvathy is the first danseuse of Lasya. There in lies its importance and relevance.



26th December

Inauguration –Dr.Krishna Moorthy(Director,I.C.C.R.,Govt.Of India)


Mohiniyattam –    Ganapathy  sthuti, Arjuna Darsanam, (From Tagore’s Chitra)

(sponsored by ICCR Regional Office, Thiruvananthapuram)

27th December

Mohiniyattam -Arangettam of  Sudharma Periyath

Disciple of  Smt.Nirmala Paniker, Natanakaisiki.

28th December

Talk by  Smt.  Nirmala Paniker

Mohiniyattam –  Cholkettu,  Jathiswaram, Padam  ,Thillana and Saptham

29th December

Talk by Sri. G. VENU

Nangiar Koothu by Kapila Venu

30th December, 2011

Mohiniyatta Saptham (Malanadu –  Lyrics  fromVylopilly Sreedhara Menon’s poem”Palatharamam  Nadangal”)

Young danseuses of  Natanakaisiki

Umadevi, Sandra, Sangeetha, Sudharma Periyath,  Parvathy Sreevallabhan, Greeshma.

Atmaja   Menon, Hridya Haridas,  Gayathri Satheesan,  Chaithanya  Nadan,  Mrudula,  Medha,  Rudra Priya.

Guru-Smt.Nirmala Paniker

VOCAL: Sree Neelamperoor  Suresh Kumar and Sanathana Shenay

MADALAM : Kalanilayam Prakasan

FLUTE : Chalakudy Regunath, Irinjalakuda Visakhan

NATTUVANGAM : Smt. Nirmala Paniker and disciples





Mohiniyattam Gurukulam of Natanakairali

Irinjalakuda, KERALA 680 121

PHONE : 0480 2825559

Mobile: 9946649358





Pavakathakali – Back to its village trail

25 11 2011
Puppeteers K C Ramakrishnan and Ravi Gopalan Nair, Photo Thulasi Kakkat

Raudrabheema from the play Duryodhanavadham

Pavakathakali, or Puppet Kathakali is an art form that has had its share in making Kathakali, the Classical Dance Theatre of Kerala, popular even from the time of its evolution.  It is possible to see in different regions across cultures the puppet version of their important art forms.  Bunraku is thus the puppet version of the Japanese Kabuki; the Chinese puppet theatre has elements that compare with theBeijingOpera.  The dance drama Yakshagana from Karnataka inIndiahas with regional variations its incarnation in the Yakshagana puppet.  The fact underlined is that when children and adults see a character unfold through puppets, it leaves a strong impression in their minds.

In olden times, puppeteers all over the world travelled a lot.  They would bundle up their puppets and travel across villages, from house to house and perform in the domestic space for children and adults.  When such itinerant performers arrived in the ancestral homes, the hosts paid a lot of attention to take care of their needs for the performances generated a lot of excitement in children.

In Kerala, for the Aandipandaras, such performances are traditionally the means of their livelihood.    There continue to be some families of such itinerant performers in Paruthippulli and Kodumbu villages in Palakkad.  Though they had migrated from Andhra Pradesh many centuries back and settled here, their mother tongue continues to be Telugu.  The means for their main source of income was to offer puja in households for Lord Subramanya and guide pilgrims on their way to Palani.  Apart from this, some of them were good in various types of performances.  It was a small group from among these who worked as puppeteers.  It is believed that they came from Andhra Pradesh via Tamil Nadu and settled in Kerala.  When they reached Kerala, they used to perform the Aryamaala, the Tamil folk drama as puppet show.  Later when Kathakali became popular in Kerala, they carved Kathakali figures, studied the text and shaped it to make it their own art form.  They did get a lot of encouragement and acceptance for this.

In the modern period, at least till the 1960s, Pavakathakali was very much alive.  Chamu Pandaram was a noted artist in the twentieth century.  A troupe from Paruthippulli village under the leadership of Chamu Pandaram travelled from household to household with their performances covering regions till the Purnathrayeesha temple in Thripunithura.   Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay who happened to see two such puppets in the museum in Thrissur first underlined the need to revive this art form.  She was instrumental in providing the impetus and support to revive most of the puppet forms inIndia.  Later, she entrusted Venu G to continue with research in this area.  Acharya Krishnankutty Pulavar, the leather puppetry maestro’s help was instrumental in getting to know that Chamu Pandaram and his troupe were in Paruthippulli village.

In 1972, with the help of the documentation officer Govind Vidyarthi of Sangeet Natak Akademi,New Delhi, the Paavakathakali of Chamu Pandaram was filmed in 16mm.  It can be said that this was the only documentation of Paavakathakali during that period.  In 1980, according to the suggestions of Kamaladeviji, there was an elaborate survey that Venuji undertook.  Then with the help of K.V. Ramakrishnan, the nephew of Chamu Pandaram, many puppets and other details were collected.  When the training programme for reviving Pavakathakali was initiated by the Sangeet Natak Akademi in 1982, the main performers Chamu Pandaram and his colleague Velayudhan Pandaram had passed away.  Only K.V. Ramakrishnan, the son of Velayudhan Pandaram, K.C. Karuppan, K.C. Ramakrishnan, the children of Chamu Pandaram, percussionist V. Thankappan remained in the traditional family who could just about handle the art form.  But none of them had the expertise to make puppets.  Thottassery Narayanan, Kathakali artist and costume designer took it on himself to make the puppets studying the old puppets.  Six students were selected from Puthuppulli and Kodumbu villages for training.  Ravi Gopalan Nair was the student who studied the art of making puppets.

The overall responsibility of training was in Venu.G known for his knowledge of Kathakali and Pavakathakali.  The venue for training was provided by Vijnanakalavedi, the Chengannur based Kathakali Vidyalayam.  After almost one year, the venue was shifted to Natanakairali, Irinjalakuda. Since those students selected for training from the Aandi Pandaram family went for training in other professions, they were not available for Pavakathakali.

In 1984 when Venu.G choreographed the story of Kalyana Sougandhikam for Pavakathakali revived by Kamaladeviji, it was presented at the India International Centre,New Delhi.  Following this Duryodhanavadham, Dakshayagam and Utharaswayamvaram were also choreographed.   Pavakathakali had numerous stages inIndiaand abroad and became popular across the world.  At present, there is only a small troupe at Natanakairali to preserve this art form at present.  This troupe has at present K.V. Ramakrishnan, K.C. Ramakrishnan, Ravi Gopalan Nair, K. Srinivasan, V. Thankappan, and Kalanilayam Ramakrishnan.   With the national award from the Kendra Sangeet Natak Akademi to K.V. Ramakrishnan and K.C. Ramakrishnan in 2011 and the Dakshina Chitra Viruthu award for Ravi Gopalan Nair, this art form has received a boost for its morale.

It is imperative to nourish and nurture a new generation in Pavakathakali.  This kind of working with art forms is not a way to earn one’s living.  Only those who have a regular job and can handle this art form simultaneously can properly train in this.  Rigorous training for at least six years is essential if one has to ably perform with rhythmic modulations and gain mastery over the art.

We have scheduled a programme from 3 -12, Dec 2011 with a fervent hope to attract public attention and also reach out to those who have an inclination towards Pavakathakali.     The programme will be organized retracing the steps to the times when Chamu Pandaram went around with his troupe.  The venues will include Paruthippulli, Kodumbu, Poomullimana, Kothara, Kulukkalloor, Kottakkal, Azhvancherimana, Tavanur and Irinjalakuda.  The Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts has extended help to realize this venture and will also document the performances and workshops.  We earnestly hope that this second phase of activities for the revival of Pavakathakali will become an important milestone for its growth.

Detailed Itinerary will be posted shortly.