A danseuse with exceptional artistry, a versatile choreographer and an affectionate Guru to her disciples, Jayaprabha Menon has notched a reputation non-pareil in the firmament of Indian Classical dances. Her performances of Mohiniyattam have been eloquent demonstrations of terpsichorean talents groomed by venerated Gurus like Kalamandalam Saraswathy, C V Chandrasekhar and Bharathy Shivaji.
Jayaprabha’s graceful nritta is phenomenal as one can discern the union of the dance and the dancer into a single entity. Her metamorphosis into the vivid characters on the stage speaks for her histrionic adroitness. Myriad are the choreographies that embrace both puranic and contemporary motifs and further they are quintessential of her insatiable urge to establish the intrinsic identity of the dance form peculiar to Kerala. Also they are the end-results of her perennial search for the roots of the dance form. In this endeavour, she has been fortunate to enjoy the guidance of Padmabhushan Kavalam Narayana Panicker, an acclaimed authority of Sopana Sangeetham.
Association with stalwarts like Birju Maharaj, Sonal Mansigh and Raja-Radha Reddy in eclectic productions has expanded her vista of the essence of Indian classical dances. Small wonder national accolades like Nritya Sree and Devadasi Puraskaram have chased her over the past three decades of her career.
The International Academy of Mohiniyattam, New Delhi of which she is the director has been moulding young talents strictly in this esoteric style. Commendable that a good number of them have graduated into consummate performers at the national level.
If Dance is the Mother of all arts, Jayaprabha Menon is the blessed daughter of that Great Mother.