Raakesh Sukesh IN
Raakesh Sukesh was born in Kerala, South of India. He grew up in the midst of the traditional heartland, rich with ancient physical traditions and spiritual lifestyles. He started as a Bollywood dancer and have worked in many south Indian movies. Raakesh formally began his training in Kalaripayattu when he was nineteen years old. He underwent years of rigours training under well-known Kalaripayattu grand-masters of Kerala (Dil sagar, Ranjan Mullarat and Sathyan Gurukkal). At the same time he trained in contemporary dance. His focus during the Kalaripayattu training was more on body movements than the combat aspect as he wanted to create his own form of expression. Rakesh sees Kalaripayattu as an analysis of human body’s possibilities through movement. Kalaripayattu as a martial art form involves rigorous training of the body and mind; this is achieved through various endurance, flexibility and focus building movement exercises. After his training his dance became more natural, highly energised, controlled, perceive advanced body intelligence and efficiently utilize raw physical energy. His teaching emphasizes on intricacies of movements to get to the core of the mind/body connection, enabling the expression more fluid. He has been teaching Kalaripayattu for contemporary dancers for the past 4 years in many parts in India and across Europe (PARTS summer studio, Sidi Larbi Company, Jean Guillaume weis’s creation Drums and dance ritual, many dance spaces in Holland etc…). Kalaripayattu is a Dravidian martial art from the Indian state of Kerala. One of the oldest fighting systems, it was practiced primarily by the Nairs, the martial caste of Kerala. Kalari payat includes strikes, kicks, grappling, preset forms, weaponry and healing methods. Regional variants are classified according to geographical position in Kerala; these are the northern style of the Malayalis, the southern style of the Tamils and the central style from inner Kerala. Northern kalari payat is based on the principle of hard technique, while the southern style primarily follows the soft techniques, even though both systems make use of internal and external concepts. Some of the choreographed sparring in kalari payat can be applied to dance and kathakali dancers who knew martial arts were believed to be markedly better than the other performers. Some traditional Indian dance schools still incorporate kalari payat as part of their exercise regimen.