Yamini Kalluri may only be 19 years old, but the body of work she’s done as a dancer and her ambition defies her age.
She’s been a Kuchipudi dancer since the age of three and has been teaching dance since the age of 12! Today, she has students across the world. It’s no wonder then that she’s been invited by Navatman to intern for a year and a half with the Centre of Traditional Music and Dance in the US. Yamini is chuffed to get the opportunity to collaborate with dancers from across the world.
Additionally, the youngster will also be collaborating with the Humber College in Toronto to teach dance.
“This has come at a wonderful time for me. I’ve been looking for ways to forge my own identity and this will help me take my capabilities to the next level. I have been choreographing for three years now, but what I really need at this juncture is the expertise to create my own style,” she explains.
While traditional Indian dance forms are known to focus mainly on religion, Yamini’s doesn’t want to go mainstream. “I want to focus on art for art’s sake. Traditionally, Kuchipudi told mythological tales. But the times have changed. I want to keep it simple. Dance because we want to dance, not because we want to tell a story,” she reasons.
Yamini is planning to use her stay in New York to enhance her skill sets. “As an artiste, it’s very easy to get bored if I am put in a box. I want to hunt for new opportunities. Art needs constant creation and for that, we need a motivating environment, which I will get there. I’m excited to learn tap dance and contemporary and Kung Fu because they will help me in the quest to find my soul, broaden my worldview and increase my strength and stamina,” says Yamini, who was associated with city-based theatre group Nishumbita in the past. She’s also set to take up theatre studies in addition to her internship.