Yamini Kalluri is a professional Kuchipudi dancer and dance prodigy who is based in New York City, but grew up in Hyderabad, India for most of her life. At the age of eight, in 2006, she began practicing the Indian classical dance form of Kuchipudi with the legendary guru Padmasri Dr. Sobha Naiduand and has since remained under the latter’s tutelage. Dr. Naidu instantly identified her talent and encouraged it by appointing Yamini as a dance instructor when she was twelve, despite her young age. This experience prompted Yamini to dedicate herself professionally to Kuchipudi, never looking back, thanks to the additional and endless support of her mother. Much later in 2013, she then received a certificate, with distinction, in Kuchipudi dance from Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University. Having performed at various prestigious festivals and venues across the United States and internationally, her artistic goal is to represent and give a new face to Kuchipudi globally.
Despite this strong foundation, Yamini continues to challenge herself by training in ballet and Martha Graham Technique at the Ballet Academy East and the Martha Graham School with the aim of expanding her artistic skills and exploring western and abstract dance forms. She aspires to create an original dance style by drawing upon this training and her foundation in Kuchipudi. Yamini makes sure to travel to a new country every year with the mission of spreading Kuchipudi across the globe, collaborating with local traditional artists, and studying local dance forms, which have included tap, hip-hop, and filipino dance, among others. In addition to her own teaching and choreography, Yamini arranges music for dance. Her deep love of music has helped her to explore impactful narratives through choreography and compose pieces with talented musicians from North America and India. Such collaborations, Yamini believes, empower not just the artist, but their larger communities as well.