Methil Devika is a Indian classical dancer, performer, dance research scholar, choreographer, and educator. She was born on 18 January 1976 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Her after was Late N. Rajagopalam, who was an engineer of mobile systems, (Etisalat/ Ex-serviceman) and mother was Methil Rajeswari. She has two elder sisters- Radhika Pillai and Methil Renuka. Radhika Pillai is an educator and an Art Critic. Methil Renuka is an editor of the Forbes Woman Africa. She was born in Dubai and spent the most of her early life there as well. She was previously married to
, in 2002, with whom she has her six-year-old son, Dewaang. They were later separated, soon after the birth of their son, and she later married the actor Mukesh in 2013.
Devika attended The Indian High School in Dubai for her early schooling. After completing her high school from there, she did the rest of her schooling from the Mercy College and Government Victoria College both of which are in Palakkad, a district of Kerala. From Government Victoria College, she did her under graduation in the field of commerce. There, she was made the vice-Chairperson for the batch of 1994-95, of the college union. She then pursued her degree of M.B.A. (Masters in Business Administration) from the Madras University in 1998 and passed with flying colors. She then did another Post Graduate course in 2000, this time in Performance Arts from the Rabindra Bharti University, Kolkata.
She was ranked first and was awarded a gold medal for her brilliant work. She again dived into the world of academics and emerged with a degree of Ph.D. in Mohini Attam from Bharathidasan University, Tamil Nadu in 2013. She has also worked as a researcher and lecturer of the classical Indian dance forms of Mohini Attam, Kathakali, Koodiyattam, etc. in the Kerala Kalamandalam Deemed University, Kerala. There she has also had a post of Course Counselor in the Department of International Students. She has training in many forms of Indian Classical dances. She trained for Bharat Natyam under Kalaimamani S. Natarajan since she was four years old.
For Kuchipudi, she had training from two distinguished teachers Guru Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam and Guru Vempati Ravi at Kuchipudi Dance Academy in Chennai. She learned her personal pride, Mohini Attam, from Kalamandalam Leelamma and Girija Chandraninin Thiruvananthapuram at the Regatta Cultural Society. She has been a professional dancer for approximately 30 years, i.e. since the age of 10.
She has recently opened her art school named Sripada Natya Kalari that is said to be a blend of Vastushastra and Natya Shastra.It was opened in October 2011, and by 2012 has received top honors from the Kerala chapter of Indian Institute of Architects. There she teaches Mohini Attam and Kuchipudi to her students, deciding between the two on the basis of which form suits their body. She constantly experiments with her dance and everything that is related to it be it experimenting with the traditional costumes and hairstyles or the impact of dancing on people.
She is currently exploring the therapeutic aspects of dance. She is doing it by developing some modules for her specially- abled students. But she is not a libertine. She likes to experiment but strictly within the rigid structure of rules. Because without rules, there will be chaos. She was awarded with the prestigious Devadasi Award in 2010, for her dedication to her dance from the Government of Orissa. She also won the State honor Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy Award for Mohiniyattam in the same year. She also won the National Award Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Award that was instituted by the Kendra Sangeetha Nataka Academy in 2007.