Natanakaisiki

Natanakaisiki is a research and training centre for female dance and theatre traditions of Kerala. Mohiniyattam, Nangiar Koothu and Thiruvathirakkali are the major art forms at present being studied at Natanakaisiki which was founded by Nirmala Paniker in 1979.

One of the major activities of Natanakaisiki is a Mohiniyattam Kalari (school) where students are trained in the dance form following the methodology devised by Nirmala Paniker. The training is rigorous and draws on a highly involved as well as personalised gurukulam pattern.Training in Satvika abhinaya based on the concept of ‘virali’ – the danseuse in Sangam literature who could evoke the various bhavas with the sensitive involvement of her entire body and mind, is especially emphasized.

Natanakaisiki offers special short-term courses for teachers and advanced students on selected aspects of Mohiniyattam like hand gestures, pure dance patterns and theory. Mohiniyattam performances following the katcheri pattern from cholkettu to saptham as well as lecture-demonstrations are arranged by Natanakaisiki.

The students at Natanakaisiki receive a thorough basic training in traditional repertoire and then also move on to new choreographies. The revival of desi dances that had disappeared from the Mohiniyattam repertoire is a major contribution of Natanakaisiki. These include Kurathi, Poli, Easal and Mookkuthi. Also several works of poetry ranging from Kaliadasa’s Kumarasambhava to the Malayalam poet Kumaranashan’s works have been adapted for performance here.

The Guru – Smt Nirmala Paniker 

Upcoming artistes

Sandra Radhakrishnan
Sandra Radhakrishnan is one of the most promising young talents trained at Natanakaisiki
Mohiniyatta Gurukulam by Smt. Nirmala Paniker for more than 10 years now. She had her
Arangettam (Debut Performance) in 2008. Since then she is a member of the troupe and has
taken part in several performances in India and abroad including Soorya Festival, Swaralaya Festival, Bharatham, Aayirathaandu Vizha, Thanjavur, Koodamkulam and Thirukurumkudi temples. She has also toured with performances in Japan.

She has also taken part in many Mohiniyattam performances conducted by the Department of Education, Govt. of Kerala as part of extra-curricular activities of school studies and she has been adjudged in Mohiniyattam as an ‘A’ grade dancer.

In 2007 she was selected for the CCRT Scholarship given by the Government of India. She has also been selected by the South Zone Cultural Centre, Department of Culture for a special coaching in Mohiniyattam for two years.

Parvathy Sreevallabhan
Parvathy Sreevallabhan is a well trained, highly talented and dedicated young Mohiniyattam dancer trained at Natanakaisiki Mohiniyatta Gurukulam under Guru Nirmala Paniker. She has completed training 10 years in Mohiniyattam and is a member of the troupe and has taken part in several performances in India and abroad including Soorya Festival, Swaralaya Festival,Bharatham, Aayirathaandu Vizha, Thanjavur, Koodamkulam and Thirukurumkudi temples. She has also toured with performances in Japan.

In 2009 she was selected for the CCRT Scholarship given by Government of India. She has also been selected by the South Zone Cultural Centre, Department of Culture for a special coaching in Mohiniyattam for two years.

Major Productions

• Numerous new varnams, padams, thilaana-s, cholkettu
• Leela, based on Malayalam poem by Kumaranasan
• Karuna, based on Malayalam poem by Kumaranasan
• Bharatiyaar Poems in Mohiniyattam
• Easal
• Poli
• Chandanam
• Mookkuthi
• Kumarasambhavam