Governor releases book on Mohiniattam
- Vijay Shanker

April 15, 2013

The Governor and Dr. Kanak Rele
His Excellency, the Governor of Maharashtra, K Shankaranarayanan released the revised edition of the book ‘The Lyrical Dance - Mohiniattam’ by Dr. Kanak Rele on 6th April at the mini PL Deshpande Auditorium in Mumbai. On this occasion, the Governor said, “This is a unique function in many ways. I am here to release the book on Mohiniattam by Kanak Rele and honour her for her outstanding contribution to Mohiniattam and winning the honour of Padma Bhushan. Nalanda Institute which has been established by her is rich in all walks of education. I have been aware of Mohiniattam due to poet Vallathol and his son Balakrishna Kurup, Kalamandalam Kshemavathy and Kalamandalam Kalyani Kutty Amma. There are many who dance for name sake, that I do not know whether it is Mohiniattam or not. To perform the navarasas is not easy and very few perform it perfectly. To understand and learn classical dances properly, institutes like Nalanda are essential and important.

I do not know to dance or sing. I know only one dance and that is politics but now I don’t need to do any politics as I am the Governor. I feel the physique of the dancer is important as she should look like a dancer. For cinema stars, dance is really important. There are very few dancers who can sing and dance. Art should be for art’s sake.”              

Vice Chancellor of Mumbai University, Rajan Walawalkar said, "We are very proud of you as a dancer and Nalanda is the only college in Mumbai that is affiliated to the University that offers degrees in dance. We are putting up the proposal for Movements and Science as that would motivate many to learn dance, including the physically challenged."

"We are greatly impressed by the authoritative work by Dr. Kanak Rele and expect many more in the years to come as that would be extremely useful for future students," said Subash Chandran, former director of dance of NCPA.

On the occasion, Dr. Kanak Rele was felicitated with a shawl. Guru Kalyanasundaram of Rajarajeswari Bharata Natya Kala Mandir, Suprabha Agarwal of PL Deshpande Academy, Odissi exponent Jhelum Paranjape, Bharatanatyam exponents Jayashree Nair and Sharada Ganesan also felicitated Kanakben for her lifetime contribution to classical arts. The finale of the evening was the short documentary film on the life of Kanak Rele and the establishment of the Nalanda Nrityakala Mahavidyalaya.

Vijay Shankar is a Kuchipudi and Kathakali exponent, teacher, bilingual journalist, arts critic and actor.