Chennai being the Cultural Capital of South India was the natural choice, when Dr. Vempati, in 1963, decided to identify a suitable location for his proposed center of art and culture with the focus on revival and reinterpretation of that great Andhra heritage, Kuchipudi dance, distinguished for its sublime sensuousness and exquisite lyricism. Acharya Chinna Satyam, inspired by a vision and turned on by drive to realize it somehow, was determined to dedicate his life to the cause of Kuchipudi dance, which had till then remained not only neglected but also virtually rejected because of its rustic overtones. Thus was born the Kuchipudi Art Academy in 1963 with just ten or twelve students. Connoisseurs of art touring India can hardly miss the scene building with the look of an Indian synagogue with bold letters -” KUCHIPUDI ART ACADEMY “, located in the posh locality of Adayar, Madras, South India.
Dr.Vempati bought a site from Government and many benevolent people and art lovers gave donations for the construction of the academy building. He also toured all over India and abroad, collected money by presenting programs and built the academy. The Academy’s own building was inaugurated in 1990. Complete with spacious dance halls, broadbased library and separate hostels for boys and girls, the academy functions as a residential school. Training is given not only in the practical aspects but also in theory. The students are also taught music and Sanskrit language as Vempati feels the students should have a thorough knowledge of all subjects related to dance.
Ever since its inception, the Academy with the active support of connoisseurs has grown in stature
and today it stands as a premier Institution recognized by the Government of India as Category 1 of Eminent Institution. With the strenuous efforts of its founder Dr. Vempati Chinna Satyam, the academy has been able to function from its own premises specially built with spacious dance halls, library and hostel for outstation students separately for girls and boys provided with all basic amenities. The academy conducts free programs for poor but deserving students and promotes them as solo performers. They are also given suitable roles to play in the dance dramas staged. Deserving students are offered scholarship and trained as teachers. The academy offers a four-year intensive training course in the art and successful students are awarded diplomas at the end of their training period.
The number of students who have undergone training in this Institution counts more than 8000 so far. Many of the students, who were trained by the Academy, have established their own dance schools in India and abroad and are spreading the art. Some of the schools are in cities Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, etc., all in India and some are in cities like Pittsburgh, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago, New Jersey, New York, Houston, St Louis etc., in USA.
This Institution was established with eight main objectives: (1) To give maximum exposure to this great dance form in India and abroad, (2) To impart training to students strictly in conformity with the spirit and ethos of classicism but in consonance with contemporary taste and sensibility, (3) To attract as many students as possible cutting across language, sex, religion, region and background, etc. through such inducements as the waiving of fees, offer of facilities for residence and, if required, even financial assistance, (4) To Promote the study of and research in the Kuchipudi art through a well equipped and competently serviced library of manuscripts, (5) To enlarge and enrich the Kuchipudi repertoire by commissioning distinguished scholars to write new dance dramas bringing out the delicate nuances of bhava and rasa inherent in the Kuchipudi style, (6) To provide a forum for the interaction of scholars and artistes engaged in the serious task of understanding and presenting the classical Indian dance tradition in all its depth and diversity, (7) To strengthen and sustain worldwide interest in the Kuchipudi through the medium of a well-structured series of specially composed and choreographed dance dramas with emphasis on a blend of the old and the new – the spirit of the old and the style of the new, and (8) To offer
advice, assistance and whatever inputs were required for the spread of knowledge and understanding about Kuchipudi at institutions in different parts of the globe.