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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

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. 



Pallippuram Sunil Kathakali artist
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