Kalamandalam Leelamma

Kalamandalam Leelamma

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Artistic background and Work Experience of Prof. Kalamandalam Leelamma


Prof. Kalamandalam LeelammaProf. Kalamandalam Leelamma one of the foremost Mohiniyattam exponent of India, hails from Kottayam district in Kerala. She joined Kerala Kalamandalam as a student at an early age and completed Mohiniyattam, Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam course with distinction. Before joining Kalamandalam she had lessons in semi classical dance under a local guru.

She had her intensive lessons in Mohiniyattam, Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi under Kalamandalam Chandrika. Her academic career was recorded in high grade.

After studies she joined Kalamandalam as a teacher. Even in the days of her studies she has been known as one of the best dancers among contemporaries in the dance troupe in Kalamandalam. She specialised in Mohiniyattam and had conducted research studies and is still continuing. She represented Kerala in many national and international dance festivals held under the last three decades. Excellence in facial expressions, well disciplined in Karanas and innovations in her approach to art, Leelamma reflects at large the strength of tradition and grace of classical simplicity in Mohiniyattam. She had her senior fellowship from the Cultural Department, Govt. of India in the field of Mohiniyattam. Her topic was “New styles in Mohiniyattam introducing compositions other than the generally accepted ones”.

Her research in Mohiniyattam is outstanding. She innovated more than 80 new steps (Adavus) for Mohiniyattam and subdivided and classified all the steps in Mohiniyattam. It is the first attempt by any Mohiniyattam dancer in the history of Mohiniyattam. Prof. Kalamandalam Leelamma choreographed around 100 new items, various padams, poems and dance drama for different occasions and all are performed in and outside the Country. A book on the New steps and old incorporating all prevailing steps and history of Mohiniyattam is finished and is going to be published by Kerala Kalamandalam. Now she is concentrating in performing new padams and varnams by contemporary poets in the classical style. After her work as the Head of Department of Dances and Professor in Kerala Kalamandalam (1997-2007), the pioneer institution of classical dances in the world, she is now working as Dean in the same faculty of the Deemed University.


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