Born to Vempati Chalamiah and Varalakshmma on October 15, 1929 in Kuchelapuram Village (now known as Kuchipudi), Andhra Pradesh, he began dancing at a tender age and learnt the nuances of Kuchipudi style of dance from Vedantam Lakshmi Narayana Sastry, Tadepalli Perayya Sastry, and Vempati Peda Satyam. As an 18 year old with a vision to bring Kuchipudi from that small village to the world stage, he moved to Chennai, the Cultural Capital of South India. Dr. Vempati founded the Kuchipudi Art Academy at Madras in 1963 and trained scores of students in this style.

Being a charismatic performer, a brilliant choreographer, and a devoted teacher, Guru Vempati sublimated and systematized Kuchipudi without sacrificing its pristine purity and gave it a more classical and sophisticated look. He refined and redefined Kuchipudi bringing it completely within the boundaries of Natya Sastra and gave it a wholly new perspective and has the credit of placing the Kuchipudi Art form firmly on the dance map of India and at an International level. 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 brilliant choreography was received with thunderous applause. He is a symbol of dedication and a source of inspiration to the world of dance.

Awards & Achievements: (to name a few):
  • Indian Government honored Dr.Vempati with a " Padma Bhushan" one of the nation's highest awards.
  • "Fellow" &"Kuchipudi Nrithya Pramukh by Sangeet Natak Academy, New Delhi
  • Kalaprapurna by Andhra University
  • T.T.K Memorial Award by the Madras Music Academy
  • The Mayor of Miami, Florida presented the Golden Key award to him in 1984.
  • The Mayor of Dayton, Ohio declared September 25,1994 as Vempati Chinna Satyam Day.
  • The Mayor of Ghanna, Ohio declared April 27,1984 as classical Indian Kuchipudi Ballet Dance Drama Day.
  • The Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia declared November 03, 1994 as Kuchipudi Dance Drama Day.
  • The Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio conferred honorary citizenship on Dr. Vempati.
  • The Mayor of Memphis, Tennessee declared September 24, 1994 as 'Ramayana Day' and the Key to the city was awarded to him.
  • The President of Tunisia at the Cartage Festival presented gold medal to him.
  • Citations and Honors conferred at the Avignon Festival, France in 1995.
Dr. Vempati's Creations - Some Jewels in the crown

  • Padmavati Srinivasa Kalyanam
  • Vipranarayana Cheritam
  • Menaka Viswamitra
  • Kalyana Sakuntalam
  • Bhama Kalapam
  • Chandalika
  • Rukmini Kalyanam
  • Hara Vilasam
  • Siva Dhanurbhangam (the first part of the oldest epic Ramayana)
  • Ardha Nareeswara
  • Sri Pada Parijatham (Annamayya)
  • Kirataarjuneeyam
  • Padmavathi Tirumanam
  • Gopika Krishna

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