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Mrs. Sreedevi Unni, Mohiniyattam Danseuse & Cine Artist

Mrs. Sreedevi Unni, Mohiniyattam Danseuse & Cine Artist

Meet Sreedevi Unni, a personality with abundant zest for life, bubbling with positive energy…..


Having had a happy and contented childhood in Kozhikode, with father being an IT practitioner and mother a teacher, an honorary social worker, and a poet, Sreedevi was someone who was blessed with the talent gene.  According to her, her mother was the source for real-life inspiration.  She was married to Mr. Narayanan Unni who hailed from Shornur, again a true supporter of dance and music.  With dance being her passion, Sreedevi chose Mohiniyattam, the traditional dance form of Kerala as her field of excellence. She understood the nuances of this dance form, the lasya, the abhinaya, and its therapeutic effect to overcome stress and realize inner peace.  Her dance idols were the great film stars of yesteryears Vyjayanthi Mala and Padmini.



Bangalore was the dreamland for Sreedevi.  Finally her dreams came true in 1974 when her husband who was working with Ceat Tyres in Patna, got an offer from Modi Continental Tyres in Bangalore. When she came to Bangalore, her daughter Monisha was 4 years old and son Sajit was 8 years old. They stayed in Cox Town for nearly 12 years and then moved over to Indira Nagar.

The things she love most about Bangalore is the freedom to live the way you want for any age group, the non-interfering cosmopolitan culture, healthy criticism encouraging and supporting the talents beyound boundaries without cultural difference, the cultural exposure, and the progressive mind set of the people of this Silicon Valley.

The greatest tragedy struck her in 1992 when her daughter Monisha, the national award winning actress died in a car accident at the age of 21.  In that accident Sreedevi was also critically injured.  It was her son’s grip, the support of her husband, the compassion of her family and friends, Dr. R.M. Varma’s treatment, positive thinking classes by her guru Swami Haridasji, teachings of Sri Sri Ravishankar, classes of Bhagavat Gita, Upanishads, and Vedantas that helped her to overcome the grief and gave her the energy and mental strength to march forward in life. 



Art gives her utmost satisfaction, especially dance.  Sreedevi Unni holds Mohiniyattam very close to her heart and has come out with classic improvisations like Mohiniyattam Ballets.  Gandhari Vilapam and Narada Koravanji in Kannada deserve a special mention in this context.  Her passion for dance urged her to look beyond regional boundaries. She is instrumental in bringing the audience of Karnataka closer to Mohiniattam. She adapted the lyrics to the local language.  Her valuable contribution in her field of excellence has won her the title ‘Karnataka Kalashree’ in 2002, an award instituted by the prestigious Sangeeta Nruthya Academy in Karnataka.

Monisha arts formerly known as Nrithyavedi, was founded by Sreedevi Unni in 1979 and was renamed in 1995 in memory of her daughter late Monisha Unni. Since then the school, a non - profit organization, has come a long way and has achieved many objectives. Today, it is a registered society providing a platform to several young artists who are talented and want to advance in their dance field. Having performed for several festivals such as Dussera Festival, The Hampi Festival, The Kadamba Festival and so on, excelling in several prestigious shows and occasions both in India and abroad, the institution also sponsors upcoming dancers and conducts workshops in dance as a therapy.  Sadhbhavana – A dance program by the students of Monisha Arts Bangalore under the guidance of Sreedevi was held on 2011 Gandhi Jayanthi at Glasshouse of Karnataka RajBhavan, organised together by Sangeeta Nrutya Academy, Sarvodya International and Doordarsan Bangalore.

Sreedevi Unni has acted in many Malayalam films and today is a familiar face in several ad films too.  Her acting in movies like Neelathamara, Mayoogham, Kadavu, Oru Cherupunchiri, Bus Conductor, Diamond Necklace, etc. deserves a special mention.


She says her latest passion is organic farming and likes to spend a lot of time at her small recreation farm in the outskirts of Bangalore.  According to her, farming of plantains, mending a mango orchard, etc. gives her immense pleasure.  It is a great way of getting close to nature and the outcome is a feast for the eyes and delight for the hearts.

She has acquired lots of knowledge to dissolve the bitterness of life.  She wanted her presence to be beneficial to others, to be worthiful; to do something more for the society.  As a person, she is thankful to humanity and had received a lot of compassion from the society and wants to give it back through the art of dance which runs in her blood.

» Posted by Aishwarya on 19/07/2012
Subject : Personalities
Lovely Pics!....Good to know so much about her...