Born on 5 September 1931 in Kuchipudi, Andhra Pradesh, Shri Bhagavathula Yagna Narayana Sarma
received his initial training in the dance under Vedantham Raghavaiah, and was later a student of
Chinta Krishnamurthy and Vempati Chinna Satyam. Commencing his career as a performer in
traditional Yakshaganas, he soon received acclaim for his role as Lohitasya in Harishchandra, Lavudu
in Lava Kusa, Prahlada in the play of the same name, and Narada in Gayopakhyanam.
In 1952, he established his own institution of Kuchipudi dance, the Shri Nritya Art Academy, in Vijaywada, and there he has trained numerous students in Kuchipudi dance and dance-dramas. He has gained wide respect both as performer and teacher. He has created several new dance-dramas in the idiom of Kuchipudi, and has presented them in dance festivals within and outside the country. Shri Sarma has been featured in several documentary films on Kuchipudi Yakshagana. He has also acted in the film Rahasyam directed by his guru Vedantam Raghavaiah.
For his service to Kuchipudi dance, Shri Yagna Narayana Sarma has been bestowed several honours including the Andhra Pradesh Department of Culture Award (2006), the Award of the Potti Sriramulu Telugu University (2009), and a cash award of the Andhra Pradesh State Cultural Council (2011).
Shri BhagavathulaYagna Narayana Sarma receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Tagore Award for his contribution to Kuchipudi dance.