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Gopika Varma

Gopika Varma is one of the leading Mohiniyattam artists of the younger generation. She started learning Mohiniyattam at the age of ten from Smt. Girija and Smt. Chandrika Kurup, both senior students of Smt. Kalyani Kuttyamma, whose student she continued to be for another ten years. Later she specialised in the form under the guidance of Smt. Kalyani Kuttyamma herself and her daughter Sreedevi Rajan. She also learnt abhinaya, which is the quintessence of Mohiniyattam, from Sri. Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair, the doyen of the Kathakali stage. She has performed extensively at various art festivals, sabhas and temples all over India and has won laurels abroad when ICCR chose her to represent India. Love for this dance form has enabled her to transmit through movements and expressions that at times sigh with nostalgia, purity and sanctity, which translate as her own personal worship of the Divine. She has received a number of awards and recognitions for her contribution to the traditional repertoire of Mohinattam. These include Abhinaya Kala Ratna Excellence Award, and the Nritya Choormani (2010), Sathya Abhinaya Sundaram (2007), the Kalaimammani Award (2004), and the Kaladarpanam Award (2003) amongst others. Ms. Varma is currently running a Mohiniyattam Dance School, Dasyam at Adyar, Chennai. The purpose of the school is to train young aspiring Mohiniyattam artists as well as to provide a platform for those already established and practicing the art. Gopika Varma lives and works in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

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