Legendary Kuchipudi dance guru Padma Bhushan Vempati Chinna Satyam passed away at his residence in Chennai Sunday. He was 83 and died due to multiple organ failure, sources close to the family said.
“He was admitted in a hospital a while ago but he spent the last three months at home. He was incredibly responsive to treatment but he started slipping away three-four days ago. He breathed his last at 10: 15 in the morning,” sources said. He is survived by his wife, three daughters and two sons. The funeral will be held on Monday.
Born on October 25, 1929 in Kuchipudi village in Krishna district, where the Kuchipudi dance originated, Chinna Satyam strove to popularise the unique dance form across the world. He began dancing at the age of six and over a period of two decades received training from famous teachers as Tadepalli Perrayya Sastry, Vedantam Lakshminarayana Sastry and later from his elder brother Vempati Pedda Satyam.
He left for Chennai at the age of 18 and later trained hundreds of students at the Kuchipudi Art Academy in Chennai, which he founded in 1963 in the city where he lived for a major part of his life. Branches of this academy were later established in cities such as Visakhapatnam, Mumbai and Calcutta in India and several cities in USA. His students include veteran actors and dancers like Hemamalini, Rekha, Vyjayanthimala Bali and Manju Bhargavi of ‘Shankarabaranam’ fame. He also gave performances in over 60 countries.
In Hyderabad, chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and tourism minister V Vasata Kumar expressed grief over his death and conveyed his condolences to the bereaved family members.