Cancer-fighting Kuchipudi dancer gets her doctorate

Cancer-fighting Kuchipudi dancer gets her doctorate
Highlights

After taking a break for five years since she was fighting cancer, the classical dancer went on to become Uttarandhra\'s first PhD holder in Kuchipudi, a dance form that has its roots in Andhra Pradesh.

Visakhapatnam: After taking a break for five years since she was fighting cancer, the classical dancer went on to become Uttarandhra's first PhD holder in Kuchipudi, a dance form that has its roots in Andhra Pradesh.

Having pursued Masters in Dance and Diploma in Annamacharya Kirthanas from Andhra University, Dr Sai Jyothi gave more than 200 spellbinding performances till date.

Known for having deft piece of footwork on the dance floor, Sai Jyothi completed her PhD in ‘Kuchipudi Natya Aaharyam’ under the guidance of renowned Dr Vedantam Rama Linga Sastry at Potti Sri Ramulu Telugu University and was bestowed with the doctorate in the last September.

Sai Jyothi, who is in her late twenties, developed interest in Bharatanatyam at the age of eight and received several years of intensive training from Srikanth Raghupathruni in Srikakulam and Vasundhara Thomas of Rukmini Arandal Kalakshtra in Chennai. Later, she turned as an exponent of Kuchipudi only because of her fondness and fascination towards this Andhra-native art form.

Familiar for dancing up storm with sheer purity and poetic grace, once upon a time cancer-hit patient Sai Jyothi reveals that this is her second innings in Kuchipudi.

“To gain back to normalcy, doctors advised me to keep away from this art form. For five unforgettable years, cancer had separated me from Kuchipudi. But, soon after I recovered my health, none could stop me from practicing Kuchipudi and finish my PhD in ‘Kuchipudi Natya Aaharyam’,” says Sai Jyothi, who has several renowned awards in her kitty, including Natya Siromani and Naatya Majari.

Feeling proud of being a disciple of Srikanth Raghupatruni, Dr Vendantam Ramalinga Sastry, Akondi Ramakrishna, manju Bhargavi and Vasundhara Thomas, she praises all gurus for nurturing her with nuanced skills.

Revealing that becoming a Kuchupudi exponent would not have been possible without their parents’ support, Sai Jyothi says Nataraj Music and Dance Academy President Vikram Kumar Goud has been instrumental in bringing out new talent besides giving opportunities to perform during dance programmes.

Speaking about her future plans to The Hans India, she feels that popularising of classical dance art forms and making it accessible to the children of lowest stratum in the society is the need of the hour. And for that, she is determined to take classes for the kids free of cost.

By Abhishek Paul Yelamanchili

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