Sunanda Nair is one of the prominent Indian classical dancers who essayed a key role in popularising Mohiniyattam or Mohini Attam. Mohiniyattam is a classical dance form of Kerala which is believed to have originated in the 16th century CE. Nair is one of the few performers of this style of dance form. She is regarded as the "prima ballerina among Mohini attam dancers". She is the first one to receive a Master's degree in Mohini Attam from Nalanda Nritya Kala Mahavidyalay affiliated to the University of Mumbai. Nair has won many awards for her immense contribution in the field of classing dancing.
Early Life of Sunanda Nair
She was born in the city of Mumbai. Sunanda is the disciple of noted Mohini Attam exponent Padmashree Dr. (Smt) Kanak Rele, who is noted for her contribution to the revival and popularisation of this classical dance style of Kerala.
Dancing Career of Sunanda Nair
Nair is popular for Mohiniyattam but interestingly her tryst with dance started with Bharatanatyam at the age of six. Since the age of six, she has given many performances in this form of dancing. Nair received dancing lessons from the great gurus like Kalaimamani Kadirvelu, Kalaimamani Mahalingam Pillai, Guru T.V. Sounderajan, Shri Dipak Majumdar, and Smt. Jayashree Nair. Presently, she is sharpening her dancing skills under the patronage of Smt. Tejiswini Rao.
She has also trained herself in other classing dance forms such as Kathakali.
Initially, she took training in Kathakali under Kalamandalam Krishnankutty Warrier and currently Kalamandalam Gopalakrishnan is training her in this style.
Contribution of Sunanda Nair as Dance Teacher
In addition to being a professional dancer, she is also serving the role of a teacher. She is the Founder Director of Srutilaya Institute of Fine Arts. The institute trains students in both Mohini Attam and Bharatanatyam.
Awards of Sunanda Nair
Nair's dedication towards Indian Classical Dancing forms made her win several prestigious awards. In the year 2011, Kerala Sangeetha Natak Akademi honoured her with 'Kalaasree'. In the same year, she received 'Global Excellence Award' from GIA, New Delhi. She also received scholarship from Central Sangeet Natak Akademi for advanced training. Some of her other awards are as follows:
'Singar Mani' from Sur Singar Samsad, Mumbai.
Nelluvai Nambeeshan Smarak Award for Mohiniattam.
'Natya Mayuri' Natyanjali Trust, Chennai.
Best Ethnic Classical Arts Award, New Orleans.
Global Excellence Dance Award, New Orleans.
Presidents Award for Community Service, Indian Assoc of New Orleans.
(Last Updated on : 10-11-2014)
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