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The Premier Kuchipudi Dance Academy in USA

Siddhendra Kuchipudi Art Academy (SKAA)

A dedication to tradition, innovation and fostering each student’s unique talent drives the teachers at Siddhendra Kuchipudi Art Academy (SKAA).

Under the artistic direction of founder Guru Swathi, Siddhendra Kuchipudi Art Academy provides Kuchipudi training throughout New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. Whether you are young or old, new to dancing or a seasoned professional, Guru Swathi adjusts her classes to suit the age and ability of her students. She has imparted her creative knowledge to over 1500 students in a career that has spanned 35 years.

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From their first lesson until their rangapravesam and beyond, students are empowered to find their own strengths and confidence through the art of Kuchipudi. With innovative teaching methods and spectacular public performances, Siddhendra Kuchipudi Art Academy provides a space for students to express themselves artistically.

Siddhendra Kuchipudi Art Academy carefully balances creative innovation with classical traditions, maintaining the cultural integrity of the classical Kuchipudi style. The Siddhendra Kuchipudi Art Academy is devoted to promoting cultural understanding through Kuchipudi and ensuring the legacy of this art form for future generations. Classes and workshops provide physical repertoires designed to increase the strength, flexibility and suppleness of the student, as well as a theoretical understanding of the Kuchipudi tradition.

Siddhendra Kuchipudi Art Academy is named after the Yogi Siddhendra who, per history, created the devotional dance theater of Kuchipudi. With roots stretching back 2 millennia, Kuchipudi has seen a modern revival and has developed into the vivid and sophisticated art form it is today.

A multi-layered performance, Kuchipudi combines drama, dance, sign language, mime and music to create a vibrant theatrical experience for the audience. Colorful costumes, ornate headdresses, jewelry and make up are also used to convey meaning and accentuate the rhythmic movements and intricate expressions of the artist.

Heavily influenced by the Natya Shastra theory of the classical theatrical arts, Kuchipudi makes full use of the abhinaya, four ways of conveying meaning and emotions to the audience. Angika represents the movement of the body, vachika is the use of speech which is expressed through song and miming words in Kuchipudi. The aharya abhinaya represents the meaning conveyed through the dancers’ costumes and make up. The most technically difficult abhinaya is the sattvika: the true expression of the character’s inner emotions conveyed through delicate facial movements creating an authentic emotional response from the artist and the audience.