Vempati Chinna Satyam is a legendary dancer and guru of
Kuchipudi dance form. This exquisite art form was popularized
worldwide by him. He was born on 15th October, 1929, in a
traditional family of dancers, at a small village of Kuchipudi
in Andhra Pradesh. He started learning this dance form at the
tender age of nine. Under the guidance of three great Gurus,
Vempati Chinna Satyam mastered in Kuchipudi. Initially he learnt
from Sri Vedantam Lakshmi Narayana Sastry, then refined his art
by learning the graceful movements from Sri Tadepally Perrayya
Sastry and later was trained by his elder brother Sri Vempati
Satyam in the beauty of expressions.
When Vempati Chinna Satyam mastered in the art of Kuchipudi, he
moved to Madras with the objective of making it popular all over
the world. His devotion and dedication towards Kuchipudi finally
resulted in the establishment of Kuchipudi Art Academy in Madras
on 6th February, 1963. Till date he has taught over thousand
students the intricate styles and techniques of Kuchipudi dance.
He founded another school of dance in Vizag called Kuchipudi
Kalakshetra in 1985.
Very soon Vempati Chinna Satyam was a star shining brightly in
the sky of international fame. He was conferred with many titles
and awards such as "Sangeet Peeth of Bombay", "Asthana
Natyacharya of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam",''T.T.K. Memorial
Award'' by Music Academy, "Natya Kalasaagara of Waltair", "Raja
Lakshmi Award of Madras", "Kalaprapoorna" from Andhra
University, "Natya Kala Bhushana of Guntur", "Bharatha
Kalaprapoorna of Hyderabad", D. Litt. from Sri Venkateswara
University, "Asthana Natyacharya of Pittsburg", and "National
Award from Central Sangeet Naatak Akademi, New Delhi". He was
awarded by many State Governments of India such as Kalidas
Puraskar by the Government of Madhya Pradesh and Kalaimamani by
the Government of Tamil Nadu. He was honored with a Doctorate
degree by Andhra University. Guru Vempati has also received the
highest India Civilian Award from Government of India "Padma
Bhushan" for his contribution to Kuchipudi.
Vempati Chinna Satyam is famous not only in India but also in
abroad. In 1984, he was presented a Golden Key by the Mayor of
Miami. 25th September, 1994, was announced as Vempati Chinna
Satyam Day by the Mayor of Dayton, Ohio; 27th April, 1984 was
declared as Classical Indian Kuchipudi Ballet Dance Drama day by
the Mayor of Gahanna, Ohio; 3rd November 1994 as Kuchipudi Dance
Drama Day by the The Mayor of Atlanta and September 24, 1994 as
Ramayanam Day by the Mayor of Memphis and he was also awarded a
key of the city.
Vempati Chinna Satyam produced nearly fifteen dance ballets
including Padmavati Srinivasa Kalyanam, Vipranarayana Charitam,
Menaka Viswamitra, Kalyana Sakuntalam, Bhama Kalapam, Chandalika,
Padmavathi Sreenivasa Kalyanam, Rukmini Kalyanam, Hara Vilasam,
Siva Dhanurbhangam and Ardha Nareeswaram, being the latest.
Vempati Chinna Satyam sublimated Kuchipudi within the boundaries
of the Natya Sastra and gave it a more classical basis.