Geethagovinda Saptam in Mohiniyattam

Date: 05 October 2014; Time: 04.00 pm
Venue: Madhava Natya Bhumi (Ammannur Gurukulam), Irinjalakkuda, Thrissur Dt., Kerala.



Geethagovindam, an enchanting Sanskrit poem written by Jayadeva, describes the love of Radha and SreeKrishna. The interpretation of the poem as a whole is thought of as representing the union of ‘mother nature’ with the ‘cosmic male’.

Natanakaisiki is the Mohiniyattam gurukulam of Natanakairali, an institution founded by G Venu with the idea of reviving and rejuvenating traditional art forms of Kerala. Natanakaisiki is an initiative of Nirmala Paniker, wife of G Venu. They were fortunate to obtain a 200 yr old manuscript called ‘Geethagovindam Nrithyalakshana sahitham’ from Sarbhoji Mahal library in Tanjavur, Tamil Nadu. Based on several years of study and discussions, Natanakairali decided to choreograph this story through the medium of Mohiniyattam.

The music of this saptham is a combination of Kerala Sopanam style, Carnatic music, Hindustani music and instrumental interludes. The rare and unique hand gestures of ‘Geethagovindam Nrithyalakshana sahitham’ are integrated to the techniques of present day Mohiniyattam and is presenting in this saptham.

The Saptham - Geethagovindam

Godess Karthyayani is being worshipped on the banks of the River Kalindi. Nandagopar has arrived with little Krishna for the ritual. Here ‘Godess worship’ symbolizes the worship of Mother Nature. Radha symbolizes nature. This leads to the realization of God as an embodiment of ultimate truth, freedom, knowledge and happiness. Jayadeva in Geethagovindam says that Krishna who walks with Radha grows to a young man whose soul mate is Radha. Radha represents the individual soul and Krishna, the immortal cosmic soul. Here the dance indicates the union of the ‘individual soul’ with the ‘cosmic soul’. Through his lines Jayadeva depicts the complexity and strength of relationships.

Guru Nirmala Paniker, the choreographer

The research and choreography of this Mohiniyattam Saptham is done by Guru Nirmala Paniker, an eminent research scholar and exponent in Mohiniyattam. She has developed a systematic methodology for teaching the hand gestures of hastalakshana deepika in Mohiniyattam. Guru Nirmala Paniker, the choreographer and the author is a recipient of several prestigious awards including the Senior Fellowship of the Govt. of India and the Kerala Sahithya Academy Award. Her pioneer efforts in the world of Mohiniyattam are remarkable.

The Team

Research & Choreography : Guru Nirmala Paniker
Music Composition : Kalamandalam Jayaprakash
Vocal : Neelamperoor Suresh Kumar
Maddalam (Percussion) : Kalanilayam Prakashan
Edakka(Percussion) : Kalanilayam Ramakrishnan
Veena : Shri Murali Krishna
Nattuvangam : Guru Nirmala Paniker & Smt. Meenakshi Menon
Geethagovinda Saptam in Mohiniyattam Geethagovinda Saptam in Mohiniyattam Reviewed by Welcome Kerala on 07:11:00 Rating: 5

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