Bharati Shivaji

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Bharati Shivaji
Born 1948
Kumbakonam, Tanjavur district, Tamil Nadu, India
Occupation Classical dancer
Known for Mohiniyattom
Children Vijayalakshmi
Awards Padma Shri
Sangeet Natak Akademi Award
Lasya Lakshmi
Sahitya Kala Parishad Samman
Nritya Choodamani

Bharati Shivaji is an Indian classical dancer of Mohiniyattom,[1] choreographer and author, known for her contributions to the art form by way of performance, research and propagation.[2] She is the founder of Center for Mohiniyattam, a dance academy promoting Mohiniyattom[3] and the co-author of two books, Art of Mohiniyattom[4] and Mohiniyattom.[5] She is a recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award[6] and Sahitya Kala Parishad Samman.[7] The Government of India awarded her the fourth highest civilian honour of the Padma Shri, in 2004, for her contributions to Indian classical dance.[8]

Biography[edit]

Mohiniyattam is one of the eight Indian classical dance forms recognized by the Sangeet Natak Akademi. The term Mohiniyattam comes from the words “Mohini” (meaning a woman who enchants onlookers) and “attam” (meaning graceful and sensuous body movements). The word “Mohiniyattam” literally means “dance of the enchantress”.[9]

Bharati Shivaji was born in 1948 in the temple town of Kumbakonam, in Tanjavur district of the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu,[10] and had her early training in Bharatnatyam under Lalita Shastri[11] and Odissi under Kelucharan Mohapatra.[12] Later, on advice from Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay, renowned social reformer, she took up research on Mohiniyattom, the traditional dance form of Kerala.[7] After obtaining a research fellowship from Sangeet Natak Akademi, she traveled to Kerala and pursued research under Kavalam Narayana Panicker, a scholar of the Temple Arts of Kerala and former vice-chairman of Sangeet Natak Akademi.[13] Shifting her focus from Bharatnatyam and Odissi,[11] she started training Mohiniyattom under Radha Marar and, later, under Kalamandalam Satyabhama, and also had a training stint under Kalamandalam Kalyanikutty Amma,[3] considered by many as the Mother of Mohiniyattom.[14]

Legacy[edit]

Moving to New Delhi, Shivaji founded the dance academy, Center for Mohiniyattom, a dedicated facility for promoting the dance form. She is known to have contributed to the evolution of the dance tradition,[7] by adding more languor to the already languorous discipline,[11] and by adapting it to other dance forms such as ballet; her Mohiniyattom adaptation of the Swan Lake of Tchaikovsky, choreographed along with her daughter, Vijayalakshmi, is one such effort.[15] Her productions include adaptations of Bhanusinger Padavali of Rabindranath Tagore,[16] Chandrotsavam of the Manipravalam, Somastuthi from the Rig Veda, and the Devagita, from Ashtapadi.[3] She is known to have incorporated postures, movements and music from other Traditional art forms of Kerala such as Ottamthullal, Kaikottikali, Thayambaka and Krishnanattam into Mohiniyattom, a legacy from her tutelage under Kavalam Narayana Panicker.[17]

In 1986, Shivaji published his first book, Art of Mohiniyattam, co-authored by Avinash Pasricha.[4] The book documents her researches under Sangeet Natak Akademi fellowship and a subsequent senior fellowship from the Department of Culture under the Ministry of Human Resource Development and is a reference book on the subject.[7] She published another book, Mohiniyattam, co-written by her daughter, Vijayalakshmi, herself a noted Mohiniyattom performer, in 2003.[5] The book deals with the history and evolution of the art form and comments about the styles and techniques, repertoire, music, costumes and jewellery associated with it.[2] She has performed on several stages in India[18][19] and abroad[20] and has taught many Indian and foreign students.[21] She also continues her research by visiting temples and gives lecture-demonstrations on the dance form at conferences and seminars.[16]

Awards and honours[edit]

Shivaji was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1999-2000.[6] Four years later, the Government of India included her in the 2004 Republic Day Honours list for the fourth highest civilian award of the Padma Shri.[8] She is a recipient of the Sahitya Kala Parishad Samman, Lasya Lakshmi title from Kunchan Nambiar Memorial Trust, Kerala and Nritya Choodamani title from the Krishna Gana Sabha, Chennai.[22] She won the Nishagandhi Puraskaram of the Government of Kerala in 2017.[23]

Sara and Urs Baur, two American filmmakers, have made a documentary, Beyond Grace, on Mohiniyattom and the art of Shivaji which features her daughter, Vijayalakshmi, too.[24] The 78-minute film, which details the work of the mother-daughter combination,[25] was premiered on 9 July 2011 at the Raleigh Theatre, Hollywood, Los Angeles.[24]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Bharati Shivaji, Avinash Pasricha (1986). Art of Mohiniyattam. Lancer, India. p. 107. ISBN 978-8170620037. 
  • Bharati Shivaji, Vijayalakshmi (2003). Mohiniyattam. Wisdom Tree. ISBN 9788186685365. 

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Heritage Club IIT Roorkee". Heritage Club IIT Roorkee. 2015. Retrieved November 26, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Mohiniyattam (Bharati Shivaji and Vijayalakshmi)". Exotic India Art. 2015. Retrieved November 26, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c "Classical Dancers of India". Classical dancers. 2015. Retrieved November 26, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Bharati Shivaji, Avinash Pasricha (1986). Art of Mohiniyattam. Lancer, India. p. 107. ISBN 978-8170620037. 
  5. ^ a b Bharati Shivaji, Vijayalakshmi (2003). Mohiniyattam. Wisdom Tree. ISBN 9788186685365. 
  6. ^ a b "Sangeet Natak Akademi Puraskar". Sangeet Natak Akademi. 2015. Archived from the original on March 31, 2016. Retrieved November 25, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Padmashri Bharati Shivaji". Thiraseela. 2015. Retrieved November 26, 2015. 
  8. ^ a b "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 15, 2014. Retrieved July 21, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Mohiniyattam". Mohiniyattam.de. 2015. Retrieved November 26, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Performers of Indian dances and music". Indian Embassy, Russia. 2015. Retrieved November 26, 2015. 
  11. ^ a b c "Bound to Kerala by Mohiniyattam". The Hindu. 17 May 2012. Retrieved November 26, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Time for Samvaad". The Hindu. 16 November 2014. Retrieved November 26, 2015. 
  13. ^ "From law to theatre". The Hindu. 31 October 2004. Retrieved November 26, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Kalamandalam Kalyanikutty Amma". Smith Rajan. 2015. Retrieved November 26, 2015. 
  15. ^ "The power of grace". The Acorn. 2015. Retrieved November 26, 2015. 
  16. ^ a b "A seeker's odyssey". The Hindu. 16 April 2015. Retrieved November 26, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Mohiniattam Style". Kuchipudi. 2015. Retrieved November 26, 2015. 
  18. ^ "BVB celebrates Munshi's birthday". Hindustan Times. 7 May 2013. Retrieved November 26, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Bharati Shivaji to perform today". Tribune. 18 October 2002. Retrieved November 26, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Bollywood meets Holyrood". Guardian. 22 August 2002. Retrieved November 26, 2015. 
  21. ^ "Russian belle dons role of Radha in Kerala's Mohiniattam". South Asia Mail. 30 April 2008. Retrieved November 26, 2015. 
  22. ^ "Profile of Padmashree Bharti Shiwaji". Spicmacay. 2015. Retrieved November 26, 2015. 
  23. ^ "Nishagandhi Award for Bharati Shivaji". The Times of India. 2017-01-20. Archived from the original on 2017-01-21. Retrieved 2017-01-21. 
  24. ^ a b "Docu on Mohiniyattam exponents to be screened". Indian Express. 7 July 2011. Retrieved November 26, 2015. 
  25. ^ "Beyond Grace". Beyond Grace the Movie. 2015. Archived from the original on November 27, 2015. Retrieved November 26, 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]