Thursday, 28 October 2004  
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Culture & arts

'Twins' in another joint exhibition

Two artists, described by sculptor Tissa Ranasinghe as 'symbiotic twins', have their fourth joint exhibition in Colombo this month.

Neville Weeraratne: Podi Nangi.Oil on canvas.

Sybil Keyt and Neville Weeraratne have a collection of paintings in oils on canvas and works on paper which will be seen at The Barefoot Gallery up to October 31 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and from 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Sundays.

Sybil Keyt is a founder-member of the Young Artists Group which came together under the aegis of Mrs. Cora Abraham in 1954. She has been exhibiting regularly at Group shows since and in association with Neville Weeraratne.

In her work at the present exhibition, Sybil Keyt pays tribute to an enduring tradition of Moghul architecture.

Sybil Keyt: Abandoned Mosque.Oil on canvas.

Her work is found in collections around the world.

Neville Weeraratne was a member of the '43 Group and exhibited with it since the first Group exhibition in London in 1952.

He has also participated in joint exhibitions with Sybil Keyt, both in Colombo and in Melbourne.

At this exhibition his work includes some large canvases which are narrative in content.

They are an indication of his deep appreciation of certain aspects of Sri Lanka, images of paradise which may soon be lost.

The entrance to The Barefoot Gallery is off 8th Lane, Colombo 3.


Classical music and song

An evening of classical music and song presented by the Sri Lanka - Netherlands Association and the Menaka Singers

Srimath Indrajith Liyanage in an interview with the late Gamini Fonseka

The members of the SLNA and their friends, who comprised the majority of the audience at the evening of classical music and song at the Dutch Reformed Church, Bambalapitiya on Saturday the 16th of October 2004 were fortunate in being treated to a really delightful concert of high professional standard for an extremely modest outlay.

Entrance was by programme.

The selection of the items for the performance was well suited to the taste of the cultured but somewhat sparse audience, which included Mrs Susan Blankhart-Berkouwer the Ambassador of the Netherlands who graced the occasion.

The actual singing was really superb, both the choir with its full-bodied power, and the soloists with very sweet voices, beautiful clarity and rich timbre. If individuals have to be named, Amandi Ekanayake should be picked out for the sweetness of her voice.

Erico Perera for range and power; Jaliya Senanayake for his clarity. Needless to say, Tamara Holsinger's rendering of the Cello pieces was sensitive and flawless and the piano accompaniment excellent.

The simple austere church lent dignity and enhanced the good taste of the soiree. The organizers, led by Deloraine ably supported by Dr Selvie Perera deserve the sincere gratitude of the audience for making available so enjoyable an opportunity to listen to such a beautiful performance by so well trained and competent a choir as Menaka de Fonseka -Sahabandu's and the delightful cello music provided by Tamara Holsinger.

It is a pity that more numbers of the general public did not avail themselves of the opportunity.

- S.D.


From point work to double work

by Gwen Herat

Perfect balance by Aliya Hasenova and Konstantin Mathveev of BolshoiBallet in Double Music performed last year inSri Lanka ‘InMemoriam toRudolf Nureyev.’

When a dancer is ready to go on points, she must be in well fitted shoes and the ideal for point work that will produce a good instep and strong ankles are the ones that are probably shorter than the average.

Exercise will naturally improve both these points that are important for the years ahead. There are many variations where an exaggerated instep may suggest that the ankles are short of being strong. Though a straight foot will not look pretty, it may well be stronger and a great help towards balance and turns. All these lead up to point work.

When the time is ripe and the teacher thinks so, the dancer must make sure that she does not roll onto sides but go square on to the point. Being overly careful will lead a dancer to be too far back. As she prepares to take off on point, pushing too much over instep will prevent a well turn-out.

If by dropping the ankle well behind the toe and allowed to stray behind, will no doubt ruin the line in general and will be spotted in Arabesque or Attitude. This is why the shoe is important and should be fitted by an expert. With time, every ballerina will come to know exactly which shoe fits her well.

With all point work done leading on to the vigourous ones that eventually she will have to dance in a ballet from exercises to the fifth position, the ballerina will find herself in Releve through Demi-Plie and draw up to Retire. She may also vary the Port de Bras and on to the most difficult but the very attractive relieve en Arabesque as danced in Les Sylphide.

When she has mastered all these techniques, she is naturally ready for double-work which is of course not a part of the class work. In an earlier article had explained some aspects of double-work but the follow-up was not completed.

In double work, the ballerina comes face to face with her male partner who will and is ready to be her partner in progress. They have to work together for greater achievement that will result in a great partnership. They will both depend on each other not only in dance but in mental attitude too.

They have to like each other and fit in snugly to the environment in which they practise. Great partnership has been built in years that have dazzled the world. It was a commonly accepted form that each time Margot Fonteyn danced with Rudolf Nureyev, they fell artistically in love with each other. This is an example how developed a good partnership can be.

The Promenade one sees in The Rose Adagio in the Sleeping Beauty's First Act is the most extraordinary and difficult of all. Here Aurora performs a series of Promenades en Attitude with the four princes who seek her hand in marriage during which time she has to hold good in each Promenade.

She is expected to raise her knee towards the opposite shoulder and retain a perfect balance with her arms Aucouronne before taking the hand of the next prince in line. In this same Act, Aurora is expected is supported for Pirouettes with a prince standing her gently supporting her at the waist.

Her prince is deemed to know at what point she is turning as she is likely to do too many. Her prince will not halt her but anticipate when. He will allow an extra Piroutte to be completed if she so desires. This is a mutual understanding they built over the years not particularly confined to The Sleeping Beauty.

A good partner will know when to anticipate and how to cope in such situations where the ballerina will go for an extra Piroutte or two and hot attempt to force her to stop. She can perform a great number of extra turns if ably supported just the way she can perform finger Fouettes with her partner behind her and holding on to his middle finger directly above her head.

Its visual beauty is extremely captivating and breathtaking. If he holds her in this position by the waist and revolves her, it will also be a captivating Promenade. He is expected to walk in a circle close to the ballerina's body and refrain shuffling inelegantly or pushing her off point.

A variation from this Promenade would be to support her with outstretched hand and walk around her in a big circle, perhaps the length of both arms away. This happens on impulse when performing and each should be aware how and when it happens.


Int'l Artists Camp 2004 and exhibition

The eighth International Artists' Camp organised by the Committee for International Art Promotion of the George Keyt Foundation, continuing a successful series that began in 1997 will hold the exhibition at the Harold Peiris Gallery from October 29 to November 1.

The main sponsor Norad is supported by the John Keells group.

A wide participation from around the world is expected to provide the 'International' interaction.

Nine artists from overseas join fourteen artists from Sri Lanka, and altogether seven countries will be represented.

The main objective of the project has been to bring together contemporary artists of Sri Lanka, with those from other countries, thereby providing an opportunity to foster inter-cultural exchange, share information and methods of artistic production.

Over the last six years we have had artists from Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, UK, France, USA, India, Switzerland, the Maldives, Bangladesh and Pakistan. These camps are over a period of 10 days at a venue that provides the ambience suitable for artistic creativity.

Owing to its popularity amongst the participants on previous occasions, this year too, the venue will be 'The Village' Habarana (hotel complex) an idyllic setting with extensive grounds that provide ample opportunity and facilities for painting and sculpture, whilst being close to the ancient Sri Lankan cities of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Dambulla, and Sigiriya recognised as a World Heritage site.

The management of the 'The Village', a part of the John Keells Group, have offered very concessionary rates, for the full 10-day period within the capacity of an artist.

Transport from Colombo to Habarana and back for the participating artists together with their equipment and materials (i.e. easels, paints etc.) and transport within the scope of the camp programme, which includes visits to cultural/heritage sites, will be free of charge again through very concessionary facilities by Keells Tours Ltd.

The camp is managed by two joint co-ordinators Arun Dias Bandaranaike and Manilal Weerakoon, and Prof. J. B. Dissanayake, a trustee of the Foundation, will also be present, making up the team who have guided the camp over the last several years.

Following the camp, an exhibition will be presented at the Harold Peiris Gallery in Colombo from 29th October to 1st November.

Several batches of Sri Lankan artists as well as artists from overseas have been very grateful to Norad of Norway, the main sponsor and to the John Keells Group as joint sponsor for this wonderful opportunity for art enabling a wide interaction through the participation of several countries from around the world.

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