Kalamandalam Satyabhama, Indian dancer, died at 77

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Kalamandalam V. Satyabhama, born in 1937 and died September 13, 2015, she was an Indian classical dancer, teacher and choreographer, known for her performances and scholarship in mohiniyattam and is regarded as a matriarch of the classical dance form.

She is also well versed in other classical dances of Kerala.

Kalamandalam was awarded the Padma Shri, in 2014, for her contributions to the art and culture, by the Government of India.

Among the classical dance forms of Kerala, Mohiniyattam has its uniqueness in being the only female classical solo dance.

Mohiniyattam literally means the dance of the enchantress, and indeed does have a mesmerizing appeal to the audience.

The attire used for its performance, which is predominantly white and gold in colour, unique hairstyle and graceful movements that follows a medium pace, all work towards the outstanding beauty of its performance.

After a lull in its popularity, the classical dance form of Mohiniyattam was revived by the erstwhile ruler of Travancore, Maharaja Swati Tirunal during the 19th century.

His patronage saw Mohiniyattam evolving into a solo dance tradition with musical compositions set to the Carnatic style of music and with a distinct repertoire.

Not many artistes can achieve the high standards set by Mohiniyattam. Learning this dance form takes a lot of dedication and practice.

Among the contemporary masters of Mohiniyattam is one who belongs to the genre of artistes who have made a mark of their own in Mohiniyattam.

And in this league belongs Ms. Kalamandalam Satyabhama, who more than a performer was widely reckoned and respected for her teaching skills and was one of the highly respected teachers at Kerala Kalamandalam.

Kalamandalam Satyabhama died at age 77 on September 13, 2015.