Mumbai, Aug 7: Dancing legend and Tollywood's greatest choreographers Vempati Chinna Satyam breathed his last today morning at his residence in Chennai. He was suffering from long illness. He was born on October 25, 1929 in Kuchipudi, Andhra Pradesh) is an Indian dancer and a guru of the Kuchipudi dance form. He was taught by Vedantam Lakshmi Narayana Sastry. He then refined his art by learning from Sri Tadepally Perrayya Sastry and later was trained by his elder brother Sri Vempati Pedda Satyam in expressions. As he learnt the nuances of this style of dance, he was successful in popularising the Kuchipudi dance form all over the world. Vempati started the Kuchipudi Art Academy at Madras in 1963. The Academy has to its credit more than 180 solo items and 15 dance dramas composed and choreographed by Vempati Chinna Satyam. These solo items and dramas have been staged all over India and abroad. He composed his first dance drama Sri Krishna Parijatham in the same period followed by another hit Ksheera Sagara Madanam and played the lead role. His portrayal of Lord Shiva and his choreography was well received.
Rekha, Hemamalini, Vaijayantimala, Prabha and several other stars were among his thousands of disciples. Purandareswari, Union Minister and daughter of legendary actor N T Rama Rao also learnt dance under Vempati. He has founded Kuchipudi Art Foundation and served the art till he breathed his last. He gave hundreds of stage performances and earned himself a special place in the world of arts. He has choreographed for over 100 films including the blockbuster ‘Nartana Sala’ in which N T Rama Rao portrayed the character of ‘Bruhannala’. He has composed a special dance for Bruhannala who teaches dance to Uttara, daughter of Virata.
He has been conferred with many titles and awards such as "Sangeet Peeth of Bombay", "Asthana Natyacharya of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam", T.T.K. Memorial Award by Madras 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 Pittsburgh", 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. He was also awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India.