Mohiniyatam artist and academician, Dr. Mythili Maratt Anoop, at a programme organised by the Centre for Women’s Studies, University of Hyderabad, floored everyone present when in addition to a Swathi Thirunal Padam, she presented a new composition based on the popular Urdu verses of the Sufi poet, Amir Khusro sung in Mohiniyattam style by Sudev Warrier in July 2019.
In the last 17 years, Mythili has trained in Mohiniyattam under various Gurus, namely Padma Shri Kalamandalam Kshemavathy, Gopika Varma (Chennai), briefly at Srutilaya, Padma Shri Bharati Shivaji, and Nalanda Dance Research Institution (Mumbai). Since 2020, she has been training under Guru Nirmala Panikker in Desi Mohiniyattam compositions through monthly workshops. She has also successfully completed three phases of Navarasa Sadhana Actor/ dancer training under Guru G Venu from Natanakairali in 2020-21.
Always keen to learn other dance forms, she has trained in Kathak at Aakruti Kathak Kendra from Mangala Bhat and Raghav Raj Bhat, Hyderabad. Mythili also came out with flying colours by undergoing a Certificate course in Bharatanatyam from IGNOU with 82% in 2020.
Mythili who has presented many solo and group performances has been honoured with awards like Mohinithaara by Dasyam in 2013, Yuva Kalaratna Award and Padmavathy Puraskar in 2015, Natya Tarang in 2017, Amrapali Award, 2021. She was also felicitated by Sangeet Natak Academy of Telangana in 2019 for teaching and promoting dance.
The COVID 19 pandemic did not deter Mythili. In fact, she took her performances online and in June 2020, presented for Abhinetri Hyderabad, in July 2020 for Samanvay Space, in October 2020 for Gowrie Creations, in December 2020 for a media group and in March 2021 for Amrapali Festival.
It is interesting to note that Mythili’s Doctoral Research was on “Dance as Communication: Performative Semiotics of Mohiniyattam” exploring classical Indian dance in general and Mohiniyattam in particular, as a language, in the light of Aesthetics, Performance Studies and Cultural Theory. She has also authored Mohiniyattam An Indian Dance Tradition A Language of Feminine
Desire published by Shubhi publications, in 2018, and along with Milind Malshe, co-authored “The Dancer as Symbol and Symbols in dance: Mallarme’s “Ballets” and Classical Indian Dance” published in Critical Enquiry (2.1, Jan. -March, 2010), “Creativity and the Code: Training in Mohiniyattam” in Theatre, Dance and Performance Training published by Routledge (2.2, Sept. 2011).
A paper, “Natya, Rasa and Abhinaya as Semiotics Principles in Classical Indian Dance” is due for publish in the forthcoming issue of Semiotica, a publication by Mouton de Gruyter Mouton. She was also part of ‘Learn Mohiniyattam’, DVD brought out by her Guru Gopika Varma. She has entered into collaborations with Odissi artist, Gullapudi Raman Kumari and Kathakali artist, Probal Gupta to educate and train young artistes.