Kalamandalam Radhika [Mohiniattam Exponent]
Kalamandalam Radhika took to dancing at the tender age of three, under the expert tutelage of Guru Rajan. In her quest to learn the different aspects of dance she learnt mridhangam vaitharis from Guru Ponniah pillai to attain mastery over the techniques of rhythm. She then learnt Kathakali from Muttar Sri. Narayana Panicker to hone her skills and talent.
She later specialised in Mohiniattam having studied under the all time Great Gurus like Late Chinnammu Amma and Kalamandalam Sathyabhama . She was also under the tutelage of Late Kalamandalam Kalyani Kutty Amma for a short period. Her training under Kalamandalam Padmanabha Ashan in kathakali polished her Abhinayam to a great extent.
Radhika,daughter of K.K. Nayar - a reputed Chartered Accountant was given her name by none other than the noted painter Dr Svetoslav Roerich and his wife the first lady of the Indian screen Madame Devika Rani Roerich.
The child who captured Pandit Nehru's heart by her expertise in oratory has given lecture demonstrations both at the National and International levels on Mohiniattam. Radhikas' forte is not confined to dancing alone. She has done extensive research for nine years on Mohiniattam. As a result she has systematised the basic Adavus (steps), have revived the costumes and jewellery worn by the old time mohiniattam dancers as early as 1940. She is the pioneer to perform Mohiniattam in all languages. The press aptly calls her "The Ambasaddor Of Mohiniattam".
She has to her credit more than 2000 performances and workshops in India and abroad. Radhika's speciality is the ability to interact with the audience and take them along with her on an emotive trip.
Radhika has performed both at the National and International Levels.She has performed for diginitaries like the SAARC delegates, WHO delegates, Soviet Representatives, Diplomats and others.
Radhika who has done her doctorate in Mohiniattam has written numerous articles on Mohiniattam for the dance and music magazine `SHRUTILAYA besides having submitted a paper on mohiniattam for the subject 'Dance education in schools' at the seminar organised by the NCERT Her article on Dance and God Realization is on the net. She has also written for the weekly 'INDU ' published from Houstan USA, an article about the Devadasi system of Kerala. She is also the author of a book titled 'Mohiniattam-The Lyrical Dance Of Kerala', published by Mathrabhoomi the leading publishers in Kerala.
Her concept of choreography highlights visual aesthetics that is stimulating and incisive. Dance transcends all polarising barriers. Through her daring and original choreography, she has elegantly and efficiently conceived and executed Biblical themes and presented them both at the national and international levels. So devout is her presentation of these themes that she has been invited time and again to perform during liturgy at the holy mass.
Using the beautiful medium of Mohiniattam she has immortalized the poetical works of Kuvempu, Amruth Someshwar, Veerappa Moily, Fr.Abel and St.Chavara.
Kalamandalam Radhika has received the prestigious Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy Award for mohiniattam for the year 2005.
She feels that culture alone can unite the whole world so she has taken the onus of teaching this beautiful art form to German and American students. This has brought a dramatic change in their conception and comprehension of the different cultures and religions.
Kalamandalam Radhika has taken Art as her life's mission. Apart from propagating and promoting Mohiniattam, she has formed a trust called the Nrithya Dhara charitable trust,which she hopes becomes a Nithya Dhara Trust. The money she generates through her performances and workshops benefits aged indigent artists. Every year she helps to alienate the tears and hunger of a few long forgotten artists. This is her mission and the setting up an old age home for these artists is her goal.