Sri Gurubhyo Namaha
Yamini Saripalli had her initial exposure to Kuchipudi dance through Smt. Sujatha Vinjamuri. Since 1995, Yamini has been training under Padmabhushan guru Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam and his son, Sri Vempati Ravi Shankar at the Kuchipudi Art Academy- Chennai. Yamini has also received mentoring from Smt. Vanaja Ayyalaraju and Smt. Kalpana Jayanthi, both disciples of Dr. Vempati. Yamini has performed with Dr. Chinna Satyam's troupe in the United States as well as throughout India.
As a solo artist, Yamini Saripalli has performed at various esteemed venues including the Kennedy Center (Washington D.C.), Milapfest (Manchester, England), Ravindra Bharathi (Hyderabad, India), and is a regular performer in the Chennai Dance and Music Season.
Yamini teaches Kuchipudi in the Washington D.C. area and studies Carnatic vocal music under guru Sri Bhagavatula Seetharama Sarma, director of Kalapeetham, Chennai, India.
Yamini’s vision for Kuchipudi is to present high quality performances, educate audiences through lecture demonstrations, and teach the art to younger generations to ensure the continuation of this art form for years to come.
She passionately and relentlessly pursues perfection and the highest of standards in her art form.
ABOUT THE GURUS
Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam is a name synonymous with Kuchipudi. He was born in 1929 into a traditional family of dancers in the village of Kuchipudi, Andhra Pradesh, India and received his training under gurus Vedantam Lakshmi Narayana Sastry and Sri Tadepalli Perrayya Sastry. At a very young age, Dr. Vempati had a strong conviction to spread this art form throughout the world and moved to Madras at the age of 18. He underwent further advanced training under his cousin, Vempati Pedda Satyam who was a well-established dance director in the film world.
With the single minded goal of establishing Kuchipudi as a recognized, purely classical art form, Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam started the Kuchipudi Art Academy at Madras in 1963. Being well versed in the Natya Sastra, Dr. Vempati revolutionized the Kuchipudi art form by refining movements he considered rustic as well as establishing a structured syllabus for students to learn the art form. He rid dance dramas of long spoken dialogues and instead added pure dance sequences and song. Dr. Vempati made these innovative changes without compromising on the classicism of the art form. In addition, he added immensely to the solo repertoire (approx. 180 Solo items ) and dance drama (approx. 15 dance dramas) repertoire of Kuchipudi. Some of his most famous dance dramas include Padmavati Srinivasa Kalyanam, Menaka Viswamitra, Chandalika, Rukmini Kalyanam, Hara Vilasam, Ramayana and Ardha Nareeswara.Dr. Vempati's choreography embodies both the grace and vigour of Kuchipudi along with the magical dramatic element. The subtle nuances of Kuchipudi and keen aesthetic sense in Dr. Vempati's brilliant works have captivated multicultural audiences throughout the world.
As a guru, Dr. Vempati has trained thousands of students. Highly revered by his students, he is well known for his giving nature as well as insistence on perfection and dedication. Dr. Vempati has conducted numerous workshops and lecture demonstrations throughout the world including the USA, South America, Trinidad, Australia, Russia, Kuwait, Canada, and France.
Some of Dr. Vempati's awards within India include: Padmabhushan from the Government of India ; Honorary doctorate from Sri Venkateswara University and Andhra University ; National Award from Central Sangeet Naatak Akademi, New Delhi ; Shanmukhananda Sangeetha Shiromani award ; T.T.K. Memorial Award by Music Academy ; Asthana Natyacharya of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam. He has received numerous accolade abroad as well.
Known for his simple, humble nature, Dr.Vempati has selflessly dedicated his life to the Kuchipudi art and has always advocated, "art for the sake of art and never for commercial gain." He is an unparalleled visionary in the field of dance who has revolutionized the art form through refining the style, bringing it international recognition and creating his magical, scintillating choreographic works.
Sri Vempati Ravi Shankar hails from a family of prestigious artists and is the younger son of the Kuchipudi legend, guru Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam, and Smt. Vempati Swarajyalakshmi. Sri Ravi Shankar began learning Kuchipudi at the tender age of 7 under Smt. Bala, a senior disciple of Dr. Vempati. After 10 years of intense, rigorous training under Smt. Bala and Dr. Vempati, Ravi came to the stage as a performer in his own right.
Throughout the years, Sri Vempati Ravi Shankar has imbibed the nuances and intricacies of Kuchipudi through his father. He is a versatile artist and has performed numerous leading characters in his father's productions. As a solo artist, Ravi has performed at many prestigious festivals and venues some of which include the Avignon Festival in France, the Netherlands World Theatre festival, the Russian Indian Dance Festival in the former USSR, the Khajuraho festival in Madhya Pradesh, the Konark festival in Orissa, the Chand festival in Bhopal, and the Kuchipudi Mahostav in Mumbai.
Ravi is also a well-known and respected guru in India and abroad. He started teaching at his father's school, Kuchipudi Art Academy - Chennai, in 1991. Ravi has also conducted numerous workshops in the USA as well as Europe.
With his first own dance piece produced at the age of 12, Ravi has many choreographies to his credit. He has composed over 85 solo items, 2 major dance dramas, and 3 thematic dance productions.
Ravi is also an accomplished musician and is the disciple of the Carnatic vocal music legend, Dr. M. Balamurali Krishna. He has set and tuned numerous keerthanas, javalis and thillanas and also often writes his own lyrics.
Sri Vempati Ravi Shankar continues the vision of his father, Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam, by propagating the art as a dedicated teacher, a captivating performer, and an innovative choreographer.