Mohiniyattom has become Money-attom. Once again Satraps and Landlords disguised as sponsors exploit this glorious classical dance form for their self-marketing and snobbery. One renowned Mohiniyattom artist in Thrissur, Kerala is performing this divine art form for pleasing the said sponsors and also for gaining self-popularity as adventurous dancer. It is the fate with our art that the artists are performing the blessed art for personal material gains and to enhance their statuesque and snob. It is a shame for us all that art has become a show-piece for reality shows. If our renowned Malayalam poet Vallothol is alive today he would have certainly lament on the tragedy with our Mohiniyattom.
Mohiniyattam is a dance form said to have originated in Kerala. It is closely related to Bharathanatyam of Tamil Nadu, which was originally called 'Dasiyattam'. Originated as the temple dance performed by Devadasis, it portrays feminine love in its myriad forms - carnal, devotional and maternal- with accent more on Lasya and Bhava. It somehow degenerated into eroticism to satisfy the Epicurean life of a few provincial satraps and landlords. There are two stories of the Lord Vishnu disguised as a Mohini. In one, he appears as Mohini to lure the asuras (demons) away from the amrita (nectar of immortality) obtained during the churning of the palazhi or Ocean of Milk.In the second story Vishnu appears as Mohini to save Lord Shiva from the demon Bhasmasura. The name Mohiniyattam may have been coined after Lord Vishnu, and the main theme of the dance is love and devotion to God, with usually Vishnu or Krishna being the hero. The renowned Malayalam poet Vallathol revived it and gave it a status in modern times through Kerala Kalamandalam which is presently doing its best for the development and popularity of Mohiniyattam.