Be it music, dance or drama, Malayali artistes, artists in general, have a tendency to correlate their idiom on stage with the literary tradition. Theme-based theatricality is central to most of the dancers in Kerala who have made a name for themselves in their respective fields. Little surprise it is then to realise that Vineetha Nedungadi, a distinguished Mohiniyattam dancer of the day, is justifiably associated with the textual nuances of the varnams and the padams. An abiding fascination for the poetic import of the verses has motivated emboldened this dancer to experiment with textual choreography. Criticisms not withstanding, Vineetha has won the hearts of the sahridayas far and near through her choreography of stage-creations of poet Edasserry's ‘Poothappattu' and Kavalam's ‘Karukarekaarmukil.' A recipient of several honours, including the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi Academy Award this year, she is genuinely interested in enhancing refurbishing the form and content of Mohiniyattam.
In a free-wheeling chat, Vineetha candidly speaks of her life as a dancer.
Mohiniyattam for self-expression
My father, the late P. Narendranath, an author, was my inspiration to learn Malayalam and its literature. I also found myself drawn to Sanskrit.I also developed a fondness for Mohiniyattam. Kalamandalam Ranganayaki taught me the basic steps of Mohiniyattam at the age of five. After short stints with various teachers, Kalamandalam Kshemavathy (Kshema) became my teacher. Under Kshema teacher, I had a thorough training in cholkettu, jathiswaram, varnam, padam, thillana and the like.
Full interview here Hindu