Kuchipudi derives its name from the village of Kuchelapuram, in Andhra Pradesh, where it grew largely as a product of Bhakti movement beginning in the 7th century A.D. Based on the fundamentals of Natya Shastra, it preserves in it the pristine purity and the rich ancient heritage. The scintillating rhythm and its fluid style captivates all, the dancer and the connoisseur alike.
The most significant feature of the Kuchipudi dance is its emphasis on Rasa. It is racy and sprightly – indicating the quest for conquering of Space and Time. With all its vigorous leaps and turns, it is not cast in the mold of impressionism.
Kuchipudi is a dance-drama of Nritta, Nritya and Natya. The Nritta consists of teermanams and jathis, the Nritya of Sabdams, and the Natya of acting with Mudras for the songs. It is in its subtle intrusion of drama in an otherwise classical pattern of dance that Kuchipudi displays its uniqueness.The graceful, lasya oriented Kuchipudi gives importance to Vakyartha abhinaya and Vachika abhinaya (use of words/dialogues). Kuchipudi dance dramas and sabdams have an undercurrent of profound mysticism, because their original purpose was to propagate the Bhakti cult among the illiterate masses.
Kartik Fine Arts, Chennai – 1994, 2010
Sankharabharanam Trust , Mylapore Fine Arts ,Chennai – 1994, 2002
Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha , Chennai – 1994, 1998
Ugadhi Puraskar , Chennapuri Andhra Maha Sabha ,Chennai – 1995 ,1999
Chennai Port Trust , Chennai – 1995
Indian Fine Arts Society , Chennai – 1995
Brahma Gana Sabha, Chennai – 1997, 1998, 1999
Samskara Bharathi ,Akhil Bharath Nruthyotsav , Ravindra Bharathi, Hyderabad – 1997
Arangetram at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai – 1999
Sankara Jayanthi Festival , Kanchipuram Temple – 1999
Natyothsav , Natyanjali Trust , Chennai – 2000
Vasanthothsav , Natyanjali Trust ,Chennai -2000
Bharath Natyotsav , Music Academy , Chennai – 2001
Swathi Thirunal Sabha , Thiruvananthapuram – 2001
All India Brahmo Conference , Chennai – 1997 ,2002
Natyanjali Trust , Vara Siddhi Vinayaka Temple, Chennai – 2002
Nungambakkam Cultural Academy, Chennai – 2003 , 2009
Annual Cultural Fest , NUS Cultural Centre, Singapore – 2005
Mamallapuram Dance Festival – 2007,2013
Inaugural Celebration of the 7th Asia Hockey Cup, Chennai – 2007
Annamacharya Aradhana , Kuchipudi village – 2008
Poson Festival , Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission , Chennai – 2008
Golden Temple , SriPuram , Vellore – 2008
Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam , Chennai – 2008, 2009
Natyanjali , Chidambaram – 2009
Pondycherry Governor Felicitation Function , Chennai – 2009
Sri Padmavathi Brahmotsav , Tirupathi – 2009
World Classical Tamil Conference , Kovai – 2010
Natyanjali , Perur – 2011
Raamayaneeyam, Margazhi Festival , TAG Auditorium – 2012
Margazhi Festival, Mahalingapuram Ayyapan Temple – 2012
AIR , Ugadi Celebrations – 2013
Sapthatharangini , Museum Theatre Chennai – 2013
RMTU, Denver USA – 2014
KAoC Indian Dance Festival, Denver USA – 2014
TAC Chithirai Thiruvizha, Aurora USA – 2014
CTA Ugadi Vedukalu, Aurora USA – 2014
RMTU, Denver USA – 2015
TAC Pongal Festival, Aurora USA – 2015
Indian Dance Festival, Denver USA – 2015
Annamacharya Aradhana, Denver USA – 2015
TAC Chiththira Thiruvizha, Denver USA – 2015
Tarangini Festival, Santa Clara USA – 2015
Keerthanna began her dance journey with Bharathanatyam at age 5. She was introduced to the art of Kuchipudi by Late Guru Smt. Chitti Durga Devi when she was 8 years old. She did her kuchipudi Rangapravesham at age 12 at Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan Chennai, under the auspices of Bharat Ratna Sri. C. Subramaniam, former governor of Maharashtra. She had the wonderful opportunity to perform lead roles in her Guru’s dance dramas Girija Kalyanam and Bhrigu Valli. Her passion towards choreography kindled the interest in learning nattuvangam as well.
After the demise of her Guru in 2007, she joined NARTANASALA school of dance run by Guru Smt. Sathyapriya Ramana, senior disciple of Guru Vempati Chinna Sathyam. She was blessed to have 2 gurus who had taught kuchipudi to students at the Kuchipudi Art Academy, Chennai. She spent the next 7 years undergoing advanced training under guru Smt. Sathyapriya and performed in several dance dramas such as Gangavatharanam, Sri Krishna Parijatham, Shivoham etc.
Keerthanna has more than 2 decades of experience in performing kuchipudi and was awarded the titles ‘NATYA KALA POORNA’ and ‘SWARNA MAYURI’ for her prowess in the dance form. She has also won the 1st prize in the National Level Kuchipudi Competition.
Keerthanna is an ‘A’ graded artist of Chennai Doordarshan. She has to her credit the following solo and group productions
Keerthanna loves to volunteer and organize cultural events. She served the Kerala Association of Colorado (non-profit organization) as a Cultural Secretary for 2 years and successfully curated 2 concept-based Indian dance festivals – Anandha(joy) and Samkhya(numbers) with the help of talented gurus and choreographers in Colorado, USA.
She has also learnt carnatic violin and carnatic music. She has performed in music concerts under the guidance of her Guru Sri. Paramakudi S. Ravindran.
Born in 1938 in Tadikonda of Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh, Late Smt. Chitti Durga Devi took to dancing very early in life, learning Bharathanatyam initially under the tutelage of Sri Chockalingam Pillai and later under Sri Dandayudhapani Pillai. She served for a brief period as a teacher in DARPANA, Ahmedabad assisting Smt. Mrinalini Sarabhai.
In 1968, she came under the influence of Padma Bhushan Dr. Vempatti Chinna Satyam beginning a long and lasting association with the Kuchipudi style of dance. She had the privelege of working for the Kuchipudi Art Academy started by Dr. Vempatti Chinna Satyam at Chennai for over twenty three years. Under the auspices of the Academy , she gave several performances in india and abroad. Her roles in the famous dance ballets, Chandalika and Srinivasa Kalyanam had left lasting impressions.
In 1993, she founded the Kuchipudi dance school NARTANA and trained students for many years until her demise in 2007. She had choreographed several dance dramas such as the Andal Kalyanam , Ashtalakshmi Sthothram , Girija Kalyanam and Bhrigu valli. She had also conducted many workshops in India and US.
Guru Smt. Sathyapriya Ramana is a senior disciple of the great maestro Padmabhushan Dr.Vempati Chinna Sathyam. Her dance career started way back in 1974, when she was 8 years old, in the GURUKULAM system at the master’s (Dr.Vempati) Academy. She has performed more than 1,000 programmes with Dr.Vempati Chinna Sathyam, playing major roles in his ballets and performing in all major festivals like SURYA FESTIVAL, KAJARHO FESTIVAL, DELHI TRADE FAIR, and KONARK FESTIVAL. She also toured for two months with her guru to USSR to perform in the festival of India in USSR in 1987. She served as a teacher at Dr.Vempati’s Kuchipudi Art Academy for 7 years.
Sathyapriya Ramana started her own dance academy, “NARTHANA SAALA”, in 1993. She performed all over India and abroad, participated at many dance festivals like NATYANJALI DANCE FESTIVAL at Chidambaram and Perur, MAMALLAPURAM DANCE FESTIVAL, KUCHIPUDI FESTIVAL AT MUMBAI, AMARAVATHI DANCE FESTIVAL BY ANDHRA GOVT, DWEEP FESTIVAL BY SOUTHZONE CULTURAL CENTRE at Andaman and Nicobar islands, WTC dance convention at Washington D C, USA, Kuchipudi convention AT Cupertino, CA, USA etc. She has also conducted lecture demonstrations and held workshops at places like Muscat, Pittsburg [USA], Bergamo [Italy], Dillenburg [Germany].
She has trained more than 1,000 disciples who are spread across the globe. She has choreographed many dance ballets and solo items with new and unexplored themes. The master piece choreography, “GANGAAVATHARANAM”, has portrayed her skills as the true carrier of Dr.Vempati’s mantel, through her creativity in composing Jathis & screenplay.
She has visited many countries like U S A, U.S.S.R, GERMANY, BELGIUM, PARIS, ITALY AND MIDDLE EAST. Her students have started their own schools in India and abroad and doing the service to the art. She is the holder of the prestigious “GUINNESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS” for her achievement and participation at the KUCHIPUDI CONVENTION, at Cupertino, California, U S A, in 2008.
She is also the recipient of many awards and titles, to name a few “M G R Memorial award, Natya KalaRatna, Natana Kala Thilakam, Rose of Rizwan award by the Bahai International, AADAL ARASI(Awarded by Vani Nrithyalayam, Dillenburg, GERMANY).
Vidwan Sri Paramakudi S Ravindran is a carnatic music singer hailing from the town of Paramakudi. He had his music tutelage under music greats such as Shri Madurai Somu and Vidwan A. Sundaresan. He has performed at various concerts and is a graded artiste of All India Radio for vocals and veena.