Since Mohiniattam is considered the sister style of Kathakali, Kanak Rele was slowly drawn towards Mohiniattam, which was almost extinct, due to the distorted version of the dance form. The term "Mohiniattakari" was used as a word of abuse, hence many dissuaded Kanak Rele from learning Mohiniattam but she was determined to delve deep into the aesthetics, sensitivity and sensuality of the lyrical classical dance of Kerala. In 1972, The Ford Foundation grant enabled her to make a film on the three pioneer mentors of Mohiniattam - Chinnammu Amma, Kunjukutty Amma and Kalyanikutty Amma. After observing and learning from these three mentors, she gradually evolved her own style, based on her theory of body kinetics, wherein the body movements were divided into two main segments; the upper body movements that involves the hands and the graceful sway of the shoulders, which is symbolic of movements of the palm trees of Kerala and the lower body movements that involves the torso and the feet movements that moves accordingly. Kanakben's style was distinct and quite different from the traditional style of Mohiniattam, as taught in the premier institute of Kathakali and Mohiniattam - Kerala Kalamandalam.
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