Kutiyattam gives a significance to his life: Ramith Ramesh
Theatre was his first exposure, but the dance form enthralled him. Kerala, the sphere of performing arts offered him a 1000 year rich heritage dance form, Kutiyattam, enabling his fervor towards dance.
Hailing from Manathana, Kannur prominent for its ‘Theyam’, the ethnicity and cultural heritage of the God’s own country, Kalamandalam Ramith Ramesh has been contributing to the dance form since nine years and currently focusing on Chakyar koothu and Kutiyattam, the mother of all traditional dance art forms.
Kuttiyattam and Chakyar koothu are among the dramatized dance worship services in temples of ancient India, particularly in Kerala. Both these dance forms find several mentions in ancient sangam literature of south and also in the epigraphs belonging to subsequent Pallava, Chera, Chola periods.
Ramith’s grandfather was an artist in ‘Villadichan Pattu’, an ancient ritual art form, where he creates a strong foundation of roots to pursue the interest in dance and arts.
Ramith gains his strength and support from his family. His parents, Smt. Puspha and Sri. Ganesh have dreamt for him to become an artist unlike others forcing him into booming professions and stood as his key support. They give confidence to him that by being an artist, one can entertain and spread joy to thousands of audience at once by performing on a stage. His sister also encourages and appreciates his work.
Currently admitted in ITI (Intercultural Theatre Institute) in Singapore for professional diploma in acting, Ramith started as theatre actor tending to his passion in theatre arts, winning the best actor accolade for 3 years continuously in school youth festivals. He also bagged top positions in Mono Acting at primary school level and sub-district level competitions.
The Kerala Kalamandalam was his first school of the dance form ‘kutiyattam’ suggested by his then drama guru. He was enlightened that ‘kuttiyatam’ was a Sanskrit drama, playing a key role in the cultural art forms of Kerala. Excitement sprinted in his nerves when he first saw a Kuttiyatam performance which inspired him to become skilled in that dance form.
In the year 2008, cracking the entrance exam and interview, Ramith joined the Garden of arts and culture, The Kerala Kalamandalam Deemed University of Art and Culture. He fell in love with ‘Kuttiyatam’ and developed a never-ending passion creating a sagacity and path in his life. His love towards it, nurtured all through his time at the university.
His work and dedication earned him several opportunities to work with renowned artists such as Padmasree Kalamandalam Sivan Namboothiri, Kalamandalam Ramachakyar, Kalamandalam Girija Devi, Kalamandalam Rama Chakyar, Kalamandalam Kanaka Kumar and Kalamandalam Sangeeth Chakyar upon completion of his ‘Arangetram’ in the year 2010.
His ‘Arangetram’ performance was one of his best moments in his dance journey, which generated oodles of interest and enthusiasm in him for future ahead.
His major learning sources were his dance gurus namely Kalamandalam Kanaka Kumar Kalamandalam Rama Chakyar, and Kalamandalam Sangeeth Chakyar. Padmasree Kalamandalam Sivan Namboothiri is his inspiration to pursue heights in the dance form.
Ramith has performed over 180 stage shows in various major cities of India. He has performed in numerous national music, dance and art festivals all over India spreading the importance of the dance form ‘Kuttiyatam’.
Performing in the Capital City, Delhi at the Yogaparv, an event to preserve the cultural ethnicity under the leadership of our Prime Minister of India was his euphoric day. His dance aura also extended globally when he performed at “Namaste France Festival” conducted by ICCR in Paris in October 2016
For the year, 2012-2013, Ramith performed top notch in ‘Kutiyattam’ and received the prestigious Achutha Kurup Endowment from The Kerala Kalamandalam. In 2017, he was awarded the Natyasree award and Natwar Gopalakrishna National award for his dedication to promote ‘Kuttiyatam’ in Visakhapatnam and Bhilai.
Apart from currently practicing contemporary theatre with Kuttiyattam, Ramith also contributes his knowledge and creativity to the art of film making as assistant director for a couple of short films. He also has been a panel judge for many competitions. In his leisure, he enjoys making dub videos of famous and funny dialogues from movies, enjoying his zeal towards acting.
In his view, dance festivals provide a good platform for young budding artists like him, in showcasing their skills and talents, spreading the art of dance in various cities, and creating an identity of their own.
‘The importance of dance and arts always stands as a traditional pride of India, and will be preserved by encouraging young artists to perform at dance festivals.’ says, Ramith.
He appeals to promote and focus solely on staging the dance form with sincerity and dedication rather than considering it for monetary terms that are earned from it, following the motto that ‘Only pure dedication helps spread the traditional dance form’.
He aspires to reach heights in his dance journey, yet be a modest, happy and a passionate artist. Learning ‘Kuttiyatam’ has created a sense of meaning to his life and wishes to promote the dance form throughout his life creating many milestones of achievement showcasing his passion for ‘Kuttiyatam’.