Vempati Venkat, son of the late Kuchipudi doyen Vempati Chinna Satyam, died of cardiac arrest on Tuesday morning at his Chennai residence. He was 55 years old.
Venkat is survived by his wife Srimoy and children Lakshmi Kameswari and Aneesh Venkat. Venkat was the secretary of the Chennai-based Kuchipudi Art Academy, founded by his father in 1963 to promote the dance form. He was one of the five children of Chinna Satyam.
In 1997, Venkat quit his company job to help his father run the academy. He has been instrumental in performing performances in several countries and has helped many young dancers gain recognition by giving them the opportunity to perform abroad.
He was responsible for running the Kuchipudi Art Academy in Chennai and for offering Kuchipudi courses in her home in her traditional village of Kuchipudi in collaboration with Krishna University (KRU-Machilipatnam).
The winner of the Sangeet Natak Academy, Bala Kondala Rao (Visakhapatnam), a disciple of Guru Vempati, mourned him. “Venkat ran the academy in Chennai and carried his father’s legacy down to his last breath. His death is a great loss for the Kuchipudi dance community, ”said Kondala Rao.
Kuchipudi-based Sangeet Natak Academy laureate Vedantam Radheshyam has approved of Venkat’s death. “Mr. Venkat was known for organizing Kuchipudi dance performances all over the world, a responsibility his father gave him. It is a shock to us,” said Radheshyam The Hindu.
Members of the “Save Kuchipudi” campaign, which Venkat launched in 2020 to support dance teachers, mourned him.