artistic director of Kalashakti
"The first time I watched a Kathakali performance was at the Kallathil temple of Pallippuram, my birth place. The famous artist Pallippuram Gopalan Nair asan was performing "Katala" (Shiva's savage character) in the Kiratham story. I liked Kathakali very much, but at that time I was not thinking about becoming an artist.
After the 10th standard in school, I had to continue my studies but it was too costly for my family. One day I saw in the news paper... an advertisement for a new school of Kathakali in Vaikom.
The school was proposing to selected students a grant for joining their course of general studies along with Kathakali studies. I decided to start Kathakali, applied for the grant, and after an interview and some tests they delivered me the grant for the admission!
I had to pay the inscription fees for the course but I did not have such money; so I asked to my neighbours, friends and family to give me whatever they wanted for starting my studies, promising them to give back their money when it would be possible for me.
Then I started at the Kalabhavanam School in Vaikom, and all my life changed because of Kathakali.
My mind was concentrated and my body involved into the practice of this great classical art form.
As I was every morning going to pray Lord Vaikathappan at the Mahadeva temple of Vaikom, I felt that I had found my way; and day after day, year after year the Kathakali was becoming more important in my life."
Pallippuram Sunil was born in Kerala in the village of Pallippuram, Alleppey. Fascinated by Kathakali since his childhood, Sunil started learning Kathakali from Kalabhavanam in Vaikom at the age of 14 from Kalamandalam Jayaprakash, Kalamandalam Prasanth, Kalamandalam Bhagyanath, Kalamandalam Sreekumar, Kalamandalam Haridas and RLV Raghunath. He started performing in 1997, continued his studies at the RLV College Tripunithura and started teaching in 2004. After getting married to Paris Laxmi in 2012, the Kalashakthi School Of Arts and Kalashakti Mandapam was inaugurated by them in Vaikom. They also created a duet called 'SANGAMAM' in 2012 and in 2015 'Krishna Mayam', a classical dance fusion of Kathakali and Bharatanatyam showcasing stories and manifestations of Lord Krishna with compositions from the Kathakali and Bharatanatyam repertoires. This duet has toured all over India, Gulf countries and Europe for various festivals.
In 2018 Sunil along with Odissi dancer Abhayalakshmi and Paris Laxmi created a new trio production:
RAHASYA - mysterious circle of life... Triptych of Indian Classical Dances
RA... Rama is Paris Laxmi in Bharatanatyam
HA... Hanuman is Pallippuram Sunil in Kathakali
SYA... Sita is Abhayalakshmi in Odissi
RAHASYA WORLD TOUR started with the grand premiere on 20th January at JTPAC, Kochi, followed by Kala Academy festival in Goa and many more venues to be announced...
Pallippuram Sunil is actively performing in all major temple festivals in Kerala while teaching and collaborating with different artists.