Guru Smt. Swathi Atluri (Gundapuneedi)

Founder/Artistic Director

Siddhendra Kuchipudi Art Academy (SKAA)

Guru Smt. Swathi Atluri has spent a lifetime honing her artistic craft to reach the forefront of the Kuchipudi dance tradition. In a global career that spans over 35 years, Guru Swathi's creative journey has seen her study under some of the great names of Kuchipudi.

At the age of five, Guru Swathi started her training in Kuchipudi and at seven achieved rangapravesam: her stage debut and first step as an artist in her own right. By 16, she was choreographing original performances. Since these auspicious beginnings, Guru Swathi has refined her skills learning from such Kuchipudi greats as Gurus Sri Satya Kumar and Vedantam RadheShyam.

Lauded for her innovative dancing style, exemplary teaching approach and meticulous attention to the traditions and finer details of her art, Guru Swathi is highly revered as a Kuchipudi artist. She has collected numerous accolades throughout her career, both in the United States and internationally, most recently being awarded the title of 'Nritya Kala Ratna' at the 2016 Vamsi-ATA Awards. This prestigious award recognizes Guru Swathi's extensive and outstanding contribution to the promotion of Kuchipudi in the United States.

Guru Swathi's artistic excellence is showcased through all aspects of her work as a dancer, choreographer and teacher. She has received critical acclaim for her leading role performances in numerous stage productions and is renowned for her portrayal of both male and female characters.

Her career as a choreographer is equally illustrious, having so far choreographed over 80 pieces influenced by the Natya Shastra theory of the classical theatrical arts. Guru Swathi has achieved an extensive portfolio of dancing experience including choreographing and performing in Hari Keertanacharya Annamaya; Siva Ganga; Ayyappa Sheranam; Priyam Venkatesam; Mohini Basmasura; and Geeta Govindam.

As a teacher, Guru Swathi allows her students the space to express themselves artistically. She is focused on fostering the unique talents of each of her students by providing innovative lesson plans, an empowering environment and the opportunity to perform publicly and regularly. This has included contributing, along with her students, to the creation and achievement of Silicon Andhra’s Guinness World Record for Kuchipudi.

Through her work in both the United States and abroad, Guru Swathi seeks to promote cultural understanding through the classical art form of Kuchipudi. Guru Swathi has showcased her art on the international stage: performing at cultural festivals; collaborating with international artists; touring her choreographic works; participating in community projects; as well as spreading her knowledge of Kuchipudi through her workshops and classes for dancers of all ages and abilities.

Check our photo gallery