"Seeking new horizons...
Reaching out to the limitless above
Form gives unfettered expressions:
Of joy! Of sorrow! Of people...
Life, its journey and beyond"
Mohiniyattam is a dance form of Kerala, South of India. It is a lasya predominant dance form that translates literally as the ‘dance of the enchantress’. The movements are cyclic and curvilinear matching the movements of cosmos.
Mohiniyattam movements mirror Kerala's natural riches - flora and fauna. The gentle and delayed sway of the torso imitates the sweeping leans of the rich paddy fields and tall palm trees.
The dance is predominantly performed in a half seated Goddess posture, the lower half lending stability to the flexibility of the torso; however, the dancer occasionally undulates a rise and fall tracing the ascents of the Western Ghats.
Deepa's training in classical dance began in Bharatanatyam. However, growing up in Madras, watching other dance forms, she was drawn very passionately to Mohiniyattam. Mohiniyattam features lasya: a style of dance where energy lines draw out the intrinsic expressions that celebrate femininity, grace and poise.
Deepa created a niche for herself in Mohiniyattam as a "dancer to watch” under Gopika Varma, the Mohiniyattam exponent. In order to establish herself as a complete artist, she pursued her advanced learning under the dance academician and Mohiniyattam exponent, Dr. Neena Prasad; moving her training closer to the regional roots where the dance originates.
With a holistic grasp of the nuances in the dance form, combined with the knowledge of history and lifestyle of Kerala, Deepa is blossoming as a performing artist and a choreographer.
WHAT CRITIQUES SAY
Triumph of Superb training
Rupa Srikanth, The Hindu Sept 2015
"Deepa is a committed dancer; she has
developed a graceful movement technique
that extends to her finger tips and looks
effort less... There was a memorable
instance in jathiswaram where the torso
sways to the right and left in a continuous
flow creating semi-circles in space until one felt giddy watching it."
Grace, of the untiring artiste!
The steps in the Dance of Life
Breaking existing moulds,
Fusing anew the organic."
Sarasvati, In quest of the Truth
Opening new windows of creativity, Sarasvati, In quest of the Truth has a threefold purpose - Environment, Culture and Humanity. Sarasvati, a rig vedic river has been the source of vitality for many of the ancient thinkers. Although her time on Earth ended as Time gobbled up all her water; ascending her back to Heaven. She still flows - gracefully, graciously, and generously. Gupt Gamani, lost but not erased!
The verses of Rig Veda ‘ambitame, nadeetame, devitame – Sarasvati’, is the inspiration for this thematic.
Krishna: A Man who became God
This thematic presentation is of one great personality: Krishna and his journey in Time through Timelessness. His repeated sacrifices for the benefit of mankind elevated him as God: a position that no other man in any other civilization, religion or culture is given.
The creative will showcase the religiosity of bhakti as cultural tolerance in India that binds a rather diverse and complex society together as one.
Bhakti as conscience will focus on how humanity can reach divinity.
Lasya: Grace in stillness and silence
Sixty-four techniques for arts are traditionally mentioned in ancient literatures. Keeping with ancient practices, she collaborated with A. V. Ilango, a remowned visual artist from Tamil Nadu. Together, they brought out a series of paintings on Mohiniyattam, calling it as ‘Lasya, Grace in silence and stillness’.