Mohiniyattam is also the heir to Devadasi dance heritage like Bharathanatyam, Kuchipudi & Odissi. The word Mohini literally means a maiden who exerts desire or steals the heart of the onlooker. There is the well-known story of Lord Vishnu taking on the guise of a Mohini to enthral people, both in connection with the churning of the milk-ocean & with the episode of slaying of Bhasmasura. Thus it is thought that Vaishnava devotees gave the name of Mohiniyattam to this dance form. In format this is similar to Bharathanatyam. The movements are graceful like Odissi & the costumes sober & attractive. It is essentially a solo dance. In Mohiniattam, story telling comes at the end. The dancer is engaged in physical enchantment. The tremendous impact which Mohiniattam builds through the eyes & the spell which their use creates between the dancer & the world to whom she tells her story is enthralling.  

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