Purandeswari recalls her association with the Kuchipudi guru

Describing Kuchipudi guru late Vempati Chinna Satyam as Abhinava Siddhendra Yogi for revitalising the traditional dance form, Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development D. Purandeswari said that it was an honour for her to be present at the birth anniversary celebrations of her guru.

Late Vempati Chinna Satyam understood the changes demanded by the time and helped revitalise the dance drama form and also trained generations in Kuchipudi and through them has also seen the dance form gain popularity across the world. She was speaking after the felicitation of music maestro Patrayani Sangeetha Rao who was bestowed the first Dr Vempati Chinna Satyam Puraskar on the occasion of the 84 birth anniversary celebrations of the late Kuchipudi guru at Kalabharati here on Monday.

Recalling her experiences with late Vempati Chinna Satyam she said that he was the only one whom she called as a guru.

The award, instituted by the Kuchipudi Art Academy, Chennai, would be bestowed upon exponents of classical dance from any of the eight classical dance forms and each year the award will be given away in a different city. This would also help more people become aware of the seminal contribution of the guru to Kuchipudi, Vempati Chinna Satyam’s son Vempati Venkat announced. His brother Vempati Ravi urged all the dancers to master music and literature to be good dancers. “We are honouring ourselves by honouring Sangeetha Rao,” former secretary Sangeet Natak Akademi Jayanth Kastuar said. Chairman AP State Cultural Council K Ramana Murthy also spoke.

Earlier, Kuchipudi exponents Mosalikanti Jaikishore, Anupama Mohan, A Bala Kondala Rao gave solo performances. The late guru’s son and disciple Vempati Ravi Shankar, braving a debilitating illness, mesmerised the audience with an incomparable performance of Kuchipudi. Later, the students of Kuchipudi Art Academy staged Sri Krishna Parijatham, the first dance drama written by the late guru. In the morning, more than 200 students and teachers of Kuchipudi performed in four batches the traditional ‘Brahmanjali’ at the Kuchipudi Kalakshetram. Secretary Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi Chitta Ranjan Mallia, former secretary of Sangeet Natak Akademi Jayanth Kastaur, Odissi exponent Sujata Mahapatra, president Kuchipudi Kalakshetra S. Vijaya Kumar, and others were also present.