Yamini 'Poornatilaka' Krishnamurthy, better known as Yamini Krishnamurthy is a renowned Kuchipudi and Bharatnatyam dancer. She is also considered as the torch-bearer of the Kuchipudi form of dance. She started her career with a dance performance in 1957, at the age of seventeen years. Yamini led an eventful dancing career and has been honored with Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan by the government of India.
Yamini Krishnamurthy is an eminent dancer and one of the major figures of Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi dancing. She was born into a Telugu family on a full moon night in 1940 at Madanapalli, Andhra Pradesh. Her grandfather, a noted Urdu poet, named her `Yamini Poornatilaka`, meaning, "a beautiful mark on the brow of light". Since childhood, Yamini was fond of dancing and wanted to become a dancer.
Yamini Krishnamurthy received the initial training of Bharatnatyam from Rukmini Devi Arundale.at Kalakshetra School of Dance, Chennai. She was, later, groomed by eminent masters like Kanchipuram Ellappa Pillai and Thanjavur Kittappa Pillai. She learnt Kuchipudi under the guidance of Vedantam Lakshmi Narayana Shastri, Chinta Krishnamurthy and Pasumarthy Venugopal Krishna Sharma. Besides Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi, Yamini also learnt Odissi from Guru Pankaj Charan Das and Kelucharan Mahapatra.
In 1957, at the age of seventeen years, Yamini Krishnamurthy performed her debut dance event in Chennai. Ever since, she had a colorful and eventful dancing career. Within three years of her maiden performance, Yamini became one of the most admired dancers of the country. Her performances brought accolades from national and international recognition arena. Yamini appeared as one of the leading classical dancers of India.
To impart training to younger dancers, Yamini Krishnamurthy started the 'Yamini school of Dance' in Delhi in 1990. She has also made a special program on dance for Doordarshan channel. Her book 'A Passion for Dance' was well-received and appraised by the critics.
For her contribution in the development and promotion of the Indian classical dance forms, Yamini was recognized as "Asthana Nartaki" (resident dancer) of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam. Her dancing career brought her many awards, including the coveted Padma Shree in the year 1968 and the Padma Bhushan - the second highest civilian awards of the India, in 2001. She was also honored with the Sangeet Natak akademi Award in 1977.