FeaturesRays of Hope

Dr Sai Jyothi Palisetty: A Kuchipudi Diamond with Resilience

Text: Paul Nicodemus

Some dance for fun, some dance for pleasure, some dance out of joy and some dance out of passion, but she danced with a hope of curing her illness. We might find numerous people who dance on their feet but only a few who are dedicated would dance with their heart and soul. Though many witness enormous hurdles during their journey, only a few survive and live to tell the tale of their sufferings.Dr Sai Jyothi Palisetty is one of those gems that was once a raw stone and was later polished into a diamond. Her agony described her determination. It was her willpower that made her dance. She was born on 19 May 1989 at Srikakulam. She pursued her graduation in Fashion Designing and followed it up with a Master’s degree in Dance from Andhra University. Later, she completed her Doctorate in Kuchipudi dance form from Naatya Aaharyabhinayam Potti Sri Ramulu Telugu University, Hyderabad. She has been a resident of Visakhapatnam from the last few years.She has always been fond of dance since her childhood. Her parents played a vital role in her dance journey at every phase. Her mother dreamed of being a good dancer but due to some uncertainties, she could not pursue her dream. This made Jyothi work towards it with more resilience.

Her family was also supportive and helped her to follow her dreams. She learned Bharatanatyam from Guru Vasundhara Thomas who was from Rukmini Arandal Kalakshetra, Chennai. She also jointly learnt Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi from Dr Raghupatruni Srikanth. She was left spellbound by Kuchipudi exponent Hanumanth Kumar from Visakhapatnam and learned Kuchipudi under his supervision.She acquired various dance techniques from distinguished legends like Dr Vedantam Ramalingayya Sastry, Siddendra Kala Pitham, Kuchipudi, Padma Shri Dr Shobha Naidu and Manju Barggavee.

According to her, Kuchipudi is in the veins of Indian tradition with its varied heritage. Its importance should be carried to future generations without losing its impact. She dreams of transforming Kuchipudi dance form into a larger scale throwing light on its significance. Her aim is to preserve, promote and propagate the essence of Kuchipudi dance to the present day world. She connects her passion for dance with serving the needy. Her wish is to be a helping hand to the poor with her earnings.She keeps her daily routines very simple. She spends her leisure with her family and friends and tries to keep herself at peace by practising yoga every day without fail. She maintains a healthy environment around her. The most striking part of her life was her battle with cancer. It was literally a painful phase in her life but she did not allow it to bother her for an extended period. She starting to recover on her own by making herself engrossed in learning dance. She began to perfect herself and unearthed her potential. She never gave up dancing even during the weak moments in her life. It was the most challenging part of her life.

She keeps herself strict in making no experiments with Kuchipudi dance form. She believes in originality and tries to sustain these innovative past masterpieces.

Depicting Lord Vishnu

According to her, ballets play an important role as they convey a constructive message to the society which is essential in the present day world. Her message is especially to the parents because she feels that they are the ones who need to identify the capabilities of their children.Parents should have a penchant for promoting the Indian art and culture among their children. It should be the duty of everyone to promote, propagate and profess the cultural heritage, tradition and various art forms of India. This small initiation of cultivating a culture in the young minds would definitely yield best results for the wellbeing of the society.Her achievements are numerous and some of the awards and accolades include Natya Jyothi in Vysakhi Nrithyotsav (Nataraj Music and Dance Academy), Natya Dhruma in Kerala Satyanjali Dance Festival, Natya Siromani in Katak Mohotsav Odissi Dance Festival, Abhinaya Nrutya Mohini in Bobbili Raja Ranga Rao Festival (Andhra Pradesh), Vysakhi Excellence Award in Vysakhi Nrithyotsav, Natya Chudamani in Cuttuck Festival (Orissa), Natya Manjari in the 3rd International Indian Classical Dance Festival, Best Dancer in Vizag by Active 24 Charitable Trust, Satyabhama award in Satyabhama Dance Festival, the Best Dancer in Kuchipudi award by the Government of Andhra Pradesh. She loves to experience happiness in the eyes of her parents whenever she receives laurels.