GURU MYDHILI The Teacher, Promoter & Innovator

GURU MYDHILI The Teacher, Promoter & Innovator

Smt. Vellappatta Mydhili is an exponent in Bharathanatyam, Mohiniyattom and Kuchippudi dance schools of the Indian classical dance. She was born in Palakkad District of Kerala. Smt. Mydhili started her initial training in Bharathanatyam by Shri. Tanjavur A.R.R. Bhaskar, at her tender age of 7 with its repertoire from Alarippu to Thillana. She, then joined the Kerala Kalamandalam at the age of 10 and started studying Mohiniyattom with great tenacity, perseverance and hard work. Her Arangettam was arranged when she was 15 years old and was awarded the Diploma by the Kerala Kalamandalam. The following 3 years, she spent in teaching and performing Bharathanatyam and Mohiniyattom. She left for Madras, at the age of 18 to join the Kuchippudi Art Academy. Trained under the direct supervision of Guru Vempatti Chinnasatyam, Smt. Mydhili was initiated in the art of Kuchippudi in the real spirit of the dance form and also helped her to understand the subtleties of Abhinaya. She spent 20 years in Madras, teaching Bharathanatyam and Mohiniyattom to a small group of students. She has also evolved her own methods of teaching Varnams, Padams and Thillanas to emphasize perfection and artistry while performing these items. These years spent at Madras helped her to mould her career as a choreographer. Workshops, lecture demonstrations, seasonal repertoires aroused her curiosity and helped her in her creative choreography. She has choreographed more than 300 items in Bharathanatyam, Mohiniyattom and Kuchippudi.

In 1984, Guru Smt. V. Mydhili established her own institution, “Midhilalaya Dance Academy” to promote Indian classical dance art form. Smt. Mydhili has not merely learnt the art in all its aspects from her Gurus but also brought to her study, an attitude of a scholar and a dancer. One found in her a fine synthesis of a dancer and a teacher. Over these years, she has evolved herself as a master choreographer and a highly respected teacher. She has trained as many as 3000 students in Bharathanatyam, Mohiniyattom and Kuchippudi. Guru Mydhili has also trained many disciples from abroad including students from the Middle East and USA who arrive every year to attend classes during their vacations. She has also set very high standards of training and refined presentation in Bharathanatyam, Mohiniyattom and Kuchippudi. She is a strong custodian of a noble tradition. She has received several awards including the “Kaisiki Puraskar” from the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy for her services in the field of art, during the year 2002.

Guru Mydhili has rendered a great service by preserving the purity of the classical art of Bharathanatyam, Mohiniyattom and Kuchippudi with an exemplary fidelity to the tradition and cultivating the taste of audiences by setting high aesthetic standards. Her contributions in composing new Padams, Jatiswarams, Varnams, Swarajathis, Thillanas and having choreographed items from the famous composers like Purandaradasa, Tulasidas, Adi Sankara, Tygaraja Swamikal, Dayanada Saraswathi and Swati Tirunal has undoubtedly enriched the present art form. Her knowledge of Sanskrit, Telugu and Tamil is also amazing. Short of stature, medium complexion, Guru Mydhili has expressive features and good voice. Her ability to sing reveals her talent in her musical knowledge of the highest order. Smt. Mydhili has an adequate grip over laya and the act of abhinaya. She is also known for her aggressive conduction and articulation of Jatis. Smt. Mydhili is also a good performer but now devotes all her time teaching and conducting Nattuvangam in Trivandrum.

‘Gurupooja Award’ by Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi in 2011.

"Artistry is admired because it looks 'effortless' after constant practice."

- Sudharani Raghupathy