Mohiniattam has long been referred to as the Bharatanatyam from Kerala. There was once a time when it was also called a 'bad imitation of Bharatanatyam. But all that has changed now.
It is this stream of sringara that swells into the mighty river of the lover-beloved songs of the Vaishnava and Saiva saints, the Ashtapadi of Jayadeva and the compositions of Kshetragna. In Bharatanatyam, too when it comes to abhinaya, sringara has been the dominant mood.
In the absence of a well-defined structure, Mohiniyattam had earned qualifiers like ‘poor cousin of Bharatanatyam , ‘an off-shoot of Kathakali ' and so on during the 60s and the 70s. This had motivated quite a few dancers to make serious attempts to provide the dance form with an identity indigenous to Kerala;
Year 1960 onwards, Mohiniattam, in spite of being a very old dance form, has started gaining prominence. It has spread from Kerala to other South India states, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and now, even Mumbai . I know many kids who are choosing to pursue Mohiniattam instead of Bharatanatyam.