An Ambassador for Mohiniyattam in Spain

Oct 01, 2012 to Dec 31, 2012 | Vol. 4, Issue 4
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Ms.Eugenia Carrillo from Spain is not only a Mohiniyattam performer but also putting lot of efforts to popularize this classical dance form of Kerala (India) in her country and Europe. With the intention to bring Mohiniyattam closer to the Spanish audience, she in her choreography adopts many components from Spanish music and theatre.

Due to the efforts of Eugenia Carrillo, Mohiniyattam, the classical dance form of Kerala, India is fast becoming popular and getting hosted on quite a number of stages in Spain. Eugenia Carrillo is a Mohiniyattam performer from the city of Cordoba in the south of Spain and she runs a school for Mohiniyattam in Spain. She has been able to host this on many stages in Spain and this traditional Mohiniyattam repertoire is based mainly on Swathi Tirunal compositions.

In 2012 edition of Bollymadrid, Eugenia Carrillo was lucky to be a part of it and had the opportunity to present Mohiniyattam with her four students. Bollymadrid is a national festival, based on Bollywood (Indian Cinema) dance, focused on Indian culture and is celebrated in Madrid, the capital of Spain for the last three years. She and her students also performed Mohiniyattam for the Fashion show - Miss India Spain, where she presented her own creation based on the theme, Parvathi's   love for Shiva and the culmination of this union. Both the characters are from Hindu Mythology.

She conducted  Mohiniyattam at Mulafest (July 2012) and also at an international dance festival called Danzas sin fronteras, for the fourth consecutive year. She is hopefully waiting for another event to come in October where she will get a chance to premier a complete Mohiniyattam performance. As a part of this project, she is scripting a work of her own in association with a lady Carnatic (South Indian Classical) singer from Kerala.

With the intention to bring Mohiniyattam closer to the Spanish audience, she in her choreography adopts the songs of the great and the Indian culture lover singer Lorena Mckennitt and the music composition by Enrique Granados, a Classical well known Spanish composer from late 19th century.

Eugenia Carrillo started her theatre studies at the age of 19 and continued for six years. Then she joined a theatre company and while working there she was also trained in trapeze from a circus school in Madrid. Her search for a suitable art language for her brought her to Kerala. She said “When I saw Katakhali for the first time, I saw poetry with the body, literal poetry drawing in the space, poetry with soul through the face and the limbs and the feet, rhythm, all the ingredients, beautiful”. In 2002, with scholarship from the Spanish Government, she came to Kerala, India and joined Kerala Kalamandalam School of Classical Arts.

At Kalamandalam School she was trained in Mohiniyattam under the Guru Kalamandalam Leelama, simultaneously taking private lessons in Kathakali at Kalatarangini School under Kalamandalam John family and Kalamandalam Shivadas. She remembered her studies in Kalamandalam “I had the privilege of being accepted and studying under the great Kalamandalam Leelama Teacher, I remember her as a marvelous dancer and teacher, as an amazing actress, her expressions and subtle movements hypnotized me, and I owe her, the passion for Mohiniyattam that born in my soul those days”. Later on in others travels to India, she had the chance to know and learn from Kalamandalam Shemawathy, Bharati Shivaji, Vijayalaksmi and  Dr. Neena Prasad, the great artists of Mohiniyattam and  M.P.S Namboodiri Ashan, Kathakali artist and trainer.

Now she continues coming to India and to get trained under Guru Bharathi Shivaji, whom she met two years back. Last year, she was a part of Bharati Shivaji's project Bhanusingher Padabali, a choreography based on the work of the great philosopher poet Rabindranath Tagore and gave stage performances in Delhi in connection with the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of the great poet.

For the last two years she conducts her own centre in Spain, just for Mohiniyattam and she has been teaching in other schools and hosting workshops. Her dream is to create a School, exclusively for Kerala art and others expressions, like Mohiniyattam, Katakhali, Kalaripayattu, Kuttiyattam, even Yoga and Ayurveda and for that she is looking for likeminded supporters. “For the moment I am dedicating completely only to Mohiniyattam, I teach, I perform, I try to spread Mohiniyattam in my country in different ways” she concluded.

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Congratulations on your dedication, devotion and hard work to establish and develop Mohiniyattam to Spain. Kalamandalam Leelamma is a very dear friend of mine for so many years. You have been blessed to have the most humble, talented and simply the best Mohiniyattam teacher possible. I would like to wish you every success and good wishes for your future dreams. Kalamandalam Barbara Vijayakumar co founder of the Kala Chethena Kathakali Company UK.

Thank you so much for your coment, really nice, i totally agree with you about kalamandalam Leelama teacher.

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