(Last Updated on : 14/03/2016)
"A dancer must have tremendous personality. A God like Christ and even a godman like Rajneesh had some personality. Combination of talent, dedication, creativity and being emotive is imperative. A coupling of these four qualities with technique is essential. Monotony is deterrent as it regards your style and I notice today, that new dancers perform in a startlingly similar fashion." - Yamini Krishnamurthy.
Yamini 'Poornatilaka' Krishnamurthy alias Yamini Krishnamurthy is a renowned Indian classical dancer
who has dedicated her life to Indian classical dance
for decades. She is considered as the torch bearer of the Kuchipudi form of dance. She gave her debut with a dance performance in Chennai
in 1957, where her charisma and stage presence were discerned when she was only seventeen. She has led an illustrious and eventful dancing career and has been honoured with the Padma Shri
, the Padma Bhushan
and most recently the Padma Vibhushan
, Indias second highest civilian honour
, in 2016.
Early Life of Yamini Krishnamurthy
Yamini Krishnamurthy was born on December 20, 1940, in a Telugu
family in Madanapalli city in the Chittoor district
of Andhra Pradesh
. Born on a full moon night
, her grandfather named her Yamini Poornatalika, the term literally meaning "a full mark on the brow of night". She was brought up in Chidambaram
, Tamil Nadu
. Her mother tongue is Telugu
. She hails from an eminent family that is more literally inclined than artistically. Her father, M. Krishnamurthy, was a Sanskrit
scholar and grandfather was an expert in Urdu poetry
At the age of five, she was enrolled as a student of Bharatnatyam in Kalakshetra School of Dance
, Chennai under Rukmini Devi Arundale
. After acquiring the foundation base at Kalakshetra, she went on to groom herself under renowned masters like Kanchipuram Ellappa Pillai, Thanjavur Kittapa Pillai, Dhandayudhapani Pillai and Mylapore Gouri Amma. She trained in Kuchipudi under Vedantam Lakshmi Narayana Shastri, Chinta Krishnamurthy
and Pasumarthy Venugopal Krishna Sharma
. In addition to Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi, she learnt Odissi
from Pankaj Charan Das and Kelucharan Mohapatra
. She was also trained in Carnatic vocal music
by M. D. Ramanathan
and in Veena
from Kalpakam Swaminathan.
Career of Yamini Krishnamurthy
After her debut in 1957 in Chennai, she became one of the most admired dancers in the country by 1960. Her performances brought about national and international recognition to Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi. She had played a significant role in popularizing Kuchipudi that was then emerging as a solo dance form of Andhra Pradesh. She is a leading exponent of both Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi and has the honour of being 'Asthana Nartaki' (resident dancer) of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam
, one of the most sacrosanct temples
of India. Her dance has been credited by some critics as the personification of rhythm.
Besides stage performances, Yamini made a 13-episode serial on classical dance, which aired on the Doordarshan
. In 1990, she started her own institute Yamini School of Dance, at Hauz Khas
in New Delhi, where she imparts dance lessons to young dancers. She released her autobiography, "A Passion For Dance", which was well received by the readers. Yamini is working on a ballet titled "The Gandhian Order of Life" and another on Tagore
and Subramania Bharati
and their depiction of the Goddess Kali
Awards and Honours received by Yamini Krishnamurthy
Yamini Krishnamurthy, in her career and for her contribution in developing and promoting the arena of Indian classical dance, has been honoured with the following awards:
Padma Vibhushan, Indias second highest civilian honour, for Art - Classical Dance by the Government of India, in 2016
Padma Bhushan, Indias third highest civilian honour, for Art - Classical Dance by the Government of India, in 2001
Padma Shri, Indias fourth highest civilian honour, for Art - Classical Dance by the Government of India, in 1968
Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1977
Natya Shastra award by Shambhavi School of Dance in Bangalore at "Nayika - Excellence Personified", on the occasion of International Women's Day on March 8, 2014. She gave a lecture demonstration "Contribution of Woman to Kuchipudi" and also released a Kuchipudi Dance DVD featuring Prateeksha Kashi, the daughter of Kuchipudi danseuse Smt. Vyjayanthi Kashi, artistic director of Shambhavi.
Personal Life of Yamini Krishnamurthy
Yamini Krishnamurthy did not marry. She has dedicated her life to her dance school, her students and her compositions. As she asserts, "Marriage did not happen because it was not meant to be. As for children, all my disciples are my children."