In the last four parts, I wrote about the Dance Notations and how various mudras, concepts and objects are notated for dance. I also described the dance notation system introduced by G Venu by scientifically analysing the movements and delineating them accordingly through the appropriate use of symbols. In this part, I am going to describe more mudras and situations used in Mohiniyattam and how they are notated in the notation system.


Put both the Pataka hands together and rotate the wrist as shown in the picture. The eyes also should rotate with the wrist movements.

Seat (Pitham)

Show the shape of a square or round seat. A square shaped seat is shown here.

Asani (Thunderbolt / Lightening)

Move the right hand as instructed in the notation system, like lightning coming. down

Cold (Saithyam)

The body should shiver while cold is shown

Calmness (Soumyaṁ)

This Mudra can be used in Shantam. (Calmness).

Bent (Vaḷaññat)

Door (Vātil)                                                        

  Pillow (Talayiṇa)) Showing the shape of a door

Ditch / Trench (Kiṭaṅṅu)

Initially hold both hands as in the photo. Slowly bring the right hand over the right shoulder and the left hand near the left leg. While doing this, look at the eyes alternately in both hands and hold them as given in the notation. End with the eyes looking in the direction (direction) of the left hand.

Assisted by Sreekanth Janardhanan

Photo Courtesy: Natanakairali Archives



Guru Nirmala Paniker is a danseuse, choreographer and researcher of repute. She established Natanakaisiki, the dance research and training wing of Natanakairali.

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