Kalamandalam V. Sathyabhama

Born on 4 November 1937 at Shoranur, Kerala, Shrimati Kalamandalam V. Sathyabhama began her training in Mohiniattam in 1950 at Kerala Kalamandalam when its founder Vallathol Narayana Menon invited Shrimati Thottassery Chinnammu Amma to start Mohiniattam classes there. She also trained in Bharatanatyam and Kathakali. In 1957 she was appointed a teacher by Vallathol to carry on the work of her guru. Over the years Shrimati Sathyabhama has played a significant role in the revival of Mohiniattam and its establishment as a distinct style of Indian classical dance. She has developed the training method and vocabulary followed at Kalamandalam and bas created several composi- tions which are now part of the standard Mohiniattam reper- toire. Among her well-known disciples are Kshemavathy, Saraswathi, Sugandhi and Leelamma. Shrimati Sathya- bhama was appointed Principal of Kalamandalam in 1992 — the first woman principal in its history and retired from the institution in 1993. For her lifelong service to the art she was honoured with the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi Award in 1976 and the Kerala Kalamandalam Award in 1988. Shrimati Kalamandalam V. Sathyabhama receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for her contribution to Mohini- attam.