Yamini Kalluri was born in USA and raised in Hyderabad for most part of her life. Coming from a Telugu Brahmin family, she grew up listening to classical music, both Indian and western. The young dancer, who is a student of Padma Shri Dr Sobha Naidu, has been honoured with ‘Bala Ratna’, ‘Nritya Mani’, ‘Natya Krithika’ and granted the Pandit Jasraj scholarship. Defying her age, she is now a member of International Dance Council, the official umbrella for all dance forms across the globe.
“At the age of seven, I started practicing Kuchipudi. I always went to watch dance performances and concerts. I studied in Sri Aurobindo International School where I studied theatre very seriously. Most of my relatives do judge me for not pursuing a professional course but my mother, who is a doctor, always supported,” says Yamini who is majoring in philosophy from IGNOU.
“My guru is Dr Sobha Naidu and Vempati Ravishankar also mentored me for a bit. After getting trained for six years, I started teaching at Sobha Naidu’s School where I began to understand the intricacies of the form. My friend, Amrita Shil helped me perfect my technique. My first international performance was in the UK at the age of 18. Since then, I have been performing consistently in many national and international festivals,” says the dancer who has moved to New York City for bigger reasons.
Talking about it, she says, “I want to start a big school on an international level in New York City to propagate this dance form with Nichiren Buddhism principles. I am learning ballet and Kung Fu to understand my body and movement better. I can see a lot of change in my thinking and execution.”
Yamini has also tied up with Queensboro dance festival and has been touring the Borough of Queens since April and has also performed for Sans Limites Dance festival, Pangaea dance festival among others. Adding further, she says,“I am glad to be part of IDC. They do many international prestigious dance events and conferences which is great to establish oneself on a global level. It helps to build a network with a lot of upcoming and professional dancers.”
The young dancer will be travelling back to Hyderabad and will perform in the city in November.