The earliest known textual reference to Mohiniyattam is found in the century Sanskrit text called “Vyavaharamala” written by Mazhamangalam Namboodiri in 1709 and another reference in the Ottanthulal script 'Ghoshayatra' by Kunjan Nambiar in the 2nd half of the 18th century.
Mamata Shankar, daughter of Uday and Amala Shankar, proved her acting prowess in several films which received national and international recognition. She has acted in films directed by Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Gautam Ghosh and Budhadev Dasgupta. She had the unique opportunity of being chosen as the heroine for the last three films of Satyajit Ray, namely "GANASHATRU" (Enemy of the people), "SHAKHA PRASHAKHA" ( Branches & Twigs ) and "AGANTUK" (The Stranger).
Manipuri dance is a generic name and covers all the dance forms of this land. According to legend, Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati danced in the valleys of Manipuri to the accompaniment of the Ghandharvas to the celestial light of Mani (jewel) from the head of the Adishesha, a serpent and that is how it has come to be called Manipuri.
The Koothambalam - the traditional dance theatre - at Kerala Kalamandalam in
Cheruthuruthy is the only one in the State, which is built outside a temple complex. Constructed according to vikrushtra madhya, one of the three natya grihas (theatres) specified in sage Bharatha's Natyasasthra - a treatise on art compiled in the 2nd century B.C, the theatre is 14.62 m long and 7.31m wide and has four wooden pillars supporting it. It has three main parts - the aniyara (green room), the rangam (stage) - the space on front and side of it meant for the audience, and the mridanga-patha (where the drum is kept).
Saswati Sen , Birju Maharaj's disciple, danced in Satyajit Ray's celebrated film on Lucknow called “The Chess Players”.
India's late Prime Minister Smt Indira Gandhi was a trained Manipuri dancer! She learned Manipuri at Gurudev Ravindranath's Shantiniketan. She was rehearsing for her first solo appearance in a Manipuri program when she received a telegram from Nehru that her mother was in critical health and must go to Europe...and Shantiniketan and Manipuri chapters in Indira's life came to end.
In Jain scriptures, Ghosha, whose period is the beginning of the 1st century AD, is said to have danced on the tips of a thousand nails and on the edge of a brass plate.
Amrapali, the famous courtesan of Vaishali dated to 500 BC is described as a virtuoso dancer.
A Gupta period sculpture belonging to 5th century AD depicts a dancer with churidar - kurta like tight fitting costume and some with saree or sarong.
A 13 inch high sculpture discovered in 1912 near Patna dates to 200 BC and depicts a dancer with a flared skirt.
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