Home india-news Row erupts over ‘offensive’ remarks made by classical dancer in Kerala | Latest News India

Row erupts over ‘offensive’ remarks made by classical dancer in Kerala | Latest News India

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Row erupts over ‘offensive’ remarks made by classical dancer in Kerala | Latest News India

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A row erupted on Thursday after Kerala-based classical dancer Kalamandalam Sathyabhama allegedly made offensive remarks about a male Mohiniyattam dancer’s appearance.

Sathyabhama refused to apologise and defended her views (Hindustan Times)
Sathyabhama refused to apologise and defended her views (Hindustan Times)

Sathyabhama during a recent interview to an online platform said “… male Mohiniyattam dancers should not practice the art form unless they are handsome and have fanciable looks.”

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“Mohiniyattam must be performed by ‘mohinis’. This man has the colour of a crow. The dance form has to be performed by keeping one’s feet apart. There’s nothing more disgusting than to see a man dancing with his legs apart. If a man wants to perform Mohiniyattam, he must be handsome and have good looks. Men like him are resented even by his mother,” she said, without naming the artiste.Sathyabhama’s remarks drew criticism from all quarters. Noted Mohiniyattam dancer and brother of late actor Kalabhavan Mani, RLV Ramakrishnan, however, in a post on Facebook alleged that he was the target of Sathyabhama’s remarks.

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Stating that she had “insulted him in the past”, he claimed that Sathyabhama did not like the fact that he was performing Mohiniyattam and taking a doctorate degree from Kerala Kalamandalam.

“Because of such artists, a person from the Scheduled Caste community cannot remain in the dance arena today. I will bring such degenerate minds before the law,” he said in the post, seen by HT.

On being confronted over her remarks, Sathyabhama refused to apologise and defended her views. “There are a lot of men who apply make-up and appear good-looking. If it’s a boy who dances well, he may get (awards),” she said.

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The Kerala Kalamandalam, the premier institution in the state for classical dance forms and Sathyabhama’s alma mater, condemned her views in a statement. “Adding the name of Kalamandalam to such persons who make remarks that don’t fit a progressive society taints the institution as well. Apart from being a former student, she has no link with Kalamandalam,” it said.

Culture minister Saji Cherian demanded that Sathyabhama withdraw her remarks and apologise to Ramakrishnan. “Her remarks show a disdain for colour and a casteist mindset,” he said.


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