About Us
     Evening Performances
     6:30 to 9:00 pm at Crafts Museum Amphitheatre

sunday 6th march at 6.30 pm

‘Bhagavathy, the Devi of Kerala’ a Mohiniattam performance by Neena Prasad

Kalamezhuthu Pattu is a 40 day ritualistic festival in which natural powders are used to create drawings on the floor of most Bhagwaty temples in Kerala to propitiate Kali and Ayappan. Kakarissi Natakam is a satirical dance drama based on the Puranic legends of Lord Siva and his consort Parvati. Other performing arts dedicated to Shakti - Teeyattu, Mutiyettu, Kaliattam, Theyam and Deviattam entered the scene. One of the few Matriarchal societies in the world came to exist among the Nairs of Kerala. Property inheritance, education, even polyandry was common among Nair women. It was even observed that “the more lovers the women had, greater was the honour.” It was this strongly feminine cultural tradition that inspired the deep expression of many female art forms amongst which Mohiniattam.

Indian Classical dance expresses 2 aspects of movement and emotion. Tandava, the male aspect symbolized by the dance of Shiva and Lasya, the female aspect symbolized by Parvati. The delicate allure and extraordinary grace of Mohiniattam probably makes it the embodiment of the feminine form in Indian dance. “Mohiniattam is the finest essence of lasya having evolved every movement, gesture, footstep in keeping with its message of a celestial dance – gentle yet breathing out an inner virility. Mohiniattam aims at beauty not as seduction but perfection, a form without a flaw.” (Bharati Shivaji)

The endless coconut trees swaying in the cool soft breeze could have inspired the ‘Ati Bhanga’ movements of this sensuous dance form where the upper portion of the body sways from side to side in a serpentine pattern, the footwork is gentle, soft and sliding, the eyes glance coquettishly sideways, the eyebrows quiver like palm leaves, one subtle movement blends into another, one graceful posture suggests the next and the aesthetic pleasure of ‘Sringara’, the erotic, the romantic or the divine depending on ones taste is attained by the dancer and the audience.

Dr. Neena Prasad is a PhD from Rabindra Bharati University, Calcutta. Her thesis on “The concepts of Lasya and Tandava in the classical dances of South India” examined the twin concepts common to all Indian classical dance forms. She received a Research Fellowship from the AHRB Research Centre for Cross Cultural Music and Dance Performance, University of Surrey. UK. and received Best Dancer of the Year award from Madras Music Academy.

She has received extensive training in four classical dance forms of India Mohiniyattam, Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi and Kathakali. She received the Kerala Sangeeta Nataka Akademi Award for Mohiniyattam, 2008. She is an empanelled artist of ICCR, New Delhi and an “ A” Grade Artist of Doordarshan.

She has performed in many festivals in India and amongst the many international festivals are Festival of India in Russia, Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow & St. Petersburg, 24 Hour Raga Festival – Cite De La Musique, Paris, India – Japan Friendship Year, Tokyo, Banweol Art Centre, South Korea, Temple of Fine Arts, Penang and Singapore.

She has also established 2 important dance schools - “Bharatanjali – Academy of Indian Classical Dances” at Thiruvananthapuram, 1995 and “Sougandhika Center for Mohiniyattam”, Chennai, 2003.




sunday 6th march at 8.00 pm

‘Tara Goddess of Compassion’ ancient songs & hymns from Tibet by Ani Choying Drolma



She founded the Nuns Welfare Association in 1998 to promote the education and welfare of nuns who had been neglected by the patriarchal monk hierarchies. In 2000 she opened the Arya Tara School which provides both secular and religious training in Tibetan, Dharma, Nepali, English, Math and Science to more than 50 young nuns.

To finance her school Ani la started singing, performing and recording. ‘Cho’, ‘Dancing Dakhini’, ‘Choying’ were followed by her first Nepali CD “Moments of Bliss” in 2004, ‘Smile’ in 2005 and ‘Inner Peace’ in 2006.

From 1998 she has conducted multi city concerts and tours to the U.S., France Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Italy and the U.K. almost every year and participated in many International festivals and conferences. Her music has won her many awards and proceeds from all events are used for the Nuns Welfare Association and for various projects including providing pure drinking water, a Bio Gas project and a Kidney Hospital in Nepal.