Budusarana On-line Edition
Silumina  on-line Edition
Sunday Observer


Marriage Proposals
Classified Ads
Government - Gazette
Mihintalava - The Birthplace of Sri Lankan Buddhist Civilization

Culture & arts

Sanda Langa Maranaya in Jaffna

Kaushalya Fernando's "Sanda Langa Maranaya", will be on stage on April 23 at 4.00 p.m. at the Kailasapathy Auditorium, University of Jaffna.

Kaushalya Fernando, five-time winner of the prestigious Best Actress award at the National Drama Festival, Colombo, is directing the Sinhala version of Blood Wedding as Sanda Langa Maranaya.

The play is one of the famous trilogy based upon Spanish society, written by Federico Garcia Lorca in response to a newspaper article concerning a local murder in Spain. Garcia Lorca is probably the most celebrated dramatist in Spain and, according to theatre critiques and academics, one of the most poetic playwrights of the 20th century.

The story of the play is a triangle of passionate love among a bridegroom, a married man, and a young bride. According to critiques, the play basically is a tragedy of missed love, treating certain universal themes such as extremism, intolerance, and inflexibility in society.

That makes the play very relevant even today, Blood Wedding has conquered many types of performing art forms; stage play, ballet, musical, film, etc. throughout the world in different languages, reaching different cultures. For its high drama, freedom of thought and relentless tension, Blood Wedding no matter when and where it performs, has been dazzling and entrancing the audience, say many theatre critiques.

Sanda Langa Maranaya is Kaushalya's debut direction. Kaushalya Fernando and Nadee Kammellaweera translated the play into Sinhala. The young group of actors of the Play House in Kotte takes part in the play. Play House-Kotte, founded by Somalatha Subasinghe in 1979, is the only of its kind in Sri Lanka, which produces mainly musical plays for children and youth, with professional actors. Sanda Langa Maranaya performance in Jaffna University Auditorium is organised by the Courtesy of Dharmasiri Bandaranayake's TrikonE Art Centre.

According to Kaushalya, the basic style of the production of Sanda Langa Maranaya is semi-musical-surrealistic-type. She incorporates choreographed movements, music and rhythm, and vivid lighting and colours in addition to very intense acting on stage.

Kaushalya is confident that with stylised realism on the stage as a production strategy would impart the audience an entertaining yet intense theatre experience. She believes the fact that primarily theatre should be appealing to the spectators.

Without mass participation, a strong theatre culture will be a distant dream. Kaushalya, with her vast experience on stage, screen and television, and very enthusiastic artistes of the "Play House" in Kotte who have joined hands with her are working untiringly to bring a memorable theatre experience to the Sri Lankan audience.

Kaushalya also tries to bringforth the youth aspect with the style of production she exercises in the play. Energetic, very honest and intense behaviour to issues in life symbolises youthfulness. In "Blood Wedding", it is a section of youth who behave in that manner turn out to be the victims of fanaticism in the society they live in.

Kaushalya experiments with these elements of youthfulness in the play to build the dramatic intensity. Working with a very youthful group of actors and other creative workforce in Sanda Langa Maranaya production, Kaushalya exerts herself to make it a very familiar experience to the Sri Lankan audience.

Somalatha Subasinghe, the veteran playwright and actress, after a brief spell of absence, gives soul to one of the leading female roles in Sanda Langa Maranaya. Chamila Peiris, Wishvajith Gunasekera, and Prasanna Mahagamage, the new generation performing artistes, who are groomed at the Play House in Kotte, give flesh and blood to the three main youthful characters that is wrapped up in the triangle of love.

Other characters are played by Lucian Bulathsinghala, Nadee Kammallaweera, Suresh Fernando, Nayomi Gunasiri, Lakmini Seneviratne, Sharmaine Gunaratne, Mayura Kanchana, Sanjaya Hettiarachchi, Champika Kannangara, Ishara Wickramasinghe, Thilokanee Gunasekera, and a number of newcomers to the national theatre groomed at Play House, Kotte.

Nadeeka Guruge, an upcoming young musician of a different breed, composes music for the play. Because the play is based on rural Spain, Sri Lankan folk music provides the basis for the score while the guitar has extensively been used to beautify the score with Spanish flavour, augmenting the intensity of acting.

Choreographed movements created by Chandana Aluthge take the play to the very edge of stylised realism, the production strategy used by the director. Choreographed movements, music, and intense acting are wonderfully concerted to enhance the dramatic sensuality on the stage, making way for a momentous theatrical experience to the audience.

Namal Jayasinghe creates stage sets and properties while make-up is by Sumedha Hewawitharana. Lighting designed by Chandana Aluthge and stage management is by Aruna Jayasena.

Film director Pollack hides ideas behind glitz

By Jeffrey Goldfarb, LONDON, (Reuters) Sydney Pollack's movies like "Three Days of the Condor" glorify tormented individuals fighting an oppressive system - a reflection of the 70-year-old director's own conflicted relationship with Hollywood.

Making movies defines his very existence and has served as an outlet for the gloomier aspects of his personality, Pollack told Reuters in an interview. But he has been forced to explore such thoughtful conflicts covertly to satisfy an American filmmaking culture focused more on glitz than ideology.

"I'm in the habit of trying to protect the commercial aspects of a movie because of the system I work in," Pollack said while in London to promote his political thriller "The Interpreter" starring Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn. "For better or for worse, I got stuck in the swimming pool of mainstream Hollywood where you make expensive movies that are supposed to reach as many people as possible with big movie stars who make a lot of money and marketing costs that are enormous," he said. "You scare people if you talk about serious ideas so I don't talk much about the ideas of a movie."

That doesn't mean they aren't there.

"The Interpreter" questions whether diplomacy is a viable alternative to violence, just as Pollack's 1975 thriller "Three Days of the Condor" took a paranoid swipe at the government and his 1982 comedy hit "Tootsie" subversively probed how men and women relate to each other.

The complex philosophies underlying Pollack's blockbusters are in part the result of his having had to cope with his mother dying when he was 16 and the death of his only son in a plane crash in 1993.

"Tragedy, grief, whatever, is a big, big, big part of life to me," Pollack said. "I know that I'm drawn to it."

So much so, in fact, that he said he often forces himself to pull back from becoming too dark. He seeks refuge by producing independent films like "Searching for Bobby Fischer" and "Sense and Sensibility" with his company, Mirage, and by directing such lighter fare as "Tootsie" and "Sabrina".

"My two daughters beat me up all the time about it - 'Don't get melancholy in this movie, Dad, don't get maudlin.' I have a tendency to do that and so I try to fight against it," Pollack said.

Still, Pollack, whose 1985 drama "Out of Africa" won seven Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director, ruminates over difficult themes, fascinated by the fact that over the millennia men and women still haven't managed to figure each other out and that people can't stop killing each other. "It knocks my brains out that it's 2005 and we're doing the exact same things we did before," he said. "We are no better off than we were at the Inquisition. It's crazy."

Born in Lafayette, Indiana, Pollack began his career in 1959 as a dialogue coach for John Frankenheimer's television production of "The Turn of the Screw" and soon started directing episodes of "The Defenders," "Ben Casey" and "The Fugitive".

He made his first film, "The Slender Thread," in 1965, about a college student volunteering at a crisis centre who receives a call from a suicidal woman.

African art, black, white and sombre

The World of Arts by Gwen Herat from Johannesburg

Twilight - oil pastel on paper - 1994 David Koloane

We tend to associate African art with the wild, untamed, the tribal etc. Though African artistes are passionate about their culture, inheritance and identity, they also broke away to an extent, the traditions of using black and white as their forceful medium and fall in line with the changing face of contemporary art.

The sorrow and suffering this nation had experienced, endured are inadvertently captured on canvas. What I saw at many art centres were different. From Johannesburg to Pretoria, they varied in mood and theme but morbity, anger, ferocity, aggression were stamped in every line and stroke. Did they fail to 'see' the colours on the rainbow, the blue in the heavens, aquamarine in the sea or the lush green in their abundant forests?

Twilight - oil pastel on paper - 1994 David Koloane

But African art is marvellous. Softly and silently, it tells the world of their anguish. A tale of sadness and mental unrest inflicted upon their forefathers by the whites and their slow process of rising out of it. Even though modern artistes attempt to bring in a fusion of colour, the brush strokes still reveal the hurt. Their masters are hardly known or praised outside the art centres that exhibit their work. On discreet inquiry, I found that funding was the main cause which even led to the closure of the prestigious Johannesburg Art Foundation recently.

Discovering African art is an experience that I felt on every face; the agony of life was present. It is because at some stage in their lives, these artists may have encountered dismal situations. They appeared to be living with it.

Of the many painters, David Koloane stood out as the one who keeps black and white bound together but he is a great artist of colour too. He constantly evolves achievement and his transformation of a dedicated awareness and strong participation in what has gone and what is going in his world, is the keynote.

Unlike many painters who had made success and carved out very individualistic careers, Koloane remains on intense sense of community. Born in Alexandra in 1938, David Koloane's sense of community came from his youth that was spent in the township during the Struggle. He was politicised at a young age when Albert Luthili, the legendary President of the ANC came to speak at Number 3 Square in Alexandra in the early 1950s.

All the streets were decorated and hopes high despite the hardship of the people. Koloane was in primary school but he understood the importance of solidarity.

He studied under Bill Ainslie at the Johannesburg Art Foundation from 1974-1977 and this was one of the few art centres open for training black students during the apartheid years. Later, he trained at the Museum Studies at the University of London.

After his studies he returned to South Africa where he co-founded the Thupelo Art Workshop project. David Koloane has exhibited his work all over the world and his works are hung in museums and galleries that include the Smithsonian Institute in the USA, DaimlerChrysler in Germany and the Victoria Albert Museum in the United Kingdom.

He is a member of the Arts Council of Africa. Internationally he is considered a pioneer black artist in apartheid South Africa and a founder member of many institutions promoting and supporting art and talent from the mid 70s.

He has also been the curator of a number of international groups. Being the co-founder and Director of the Fordsburg Artists' Studio, he was appointed by many institutions to foster art in Africa.

In 1998, David Koloane received the prestigious Prince Claus Fund Award in the Netherlands.

Koloane's work reflects the socio-political landscape of South Africa both past and present. The colours created by the apartheid system have to a large extent transfixed the human condition as the axis around which his work revolves. In that context, all artists emulate him.

Brisbane International School celebrates World Health Day

World Health Day was celebrated at Brisbane International School on the 7th April, 2005.

To mark this day a medical camp voluntarily organised by a group of doctors was held in the school premises, under the World health Day theme "Mother and Child".

The Health Camp was based on oral care of children and physical health screening. The students were educated on oral health and nutritional values of food by posters, leaflets and an educational video program.

The enthusiastic students also illustrated their views on the importance of a healthy life by paintings and posters depicting a healthy society. Dental care was organised by Dental Surgeon Dr. Mrs. Kahandawa and general health screening was organised by Dr. Mrs. Sumudu, Dr. Jayalal and Dr. Mrs. Bodhinayake.

The program concluded successfully and the tired doctors were refreshed by an entertaining recital performed by the youngsters of the Montessori section.










| News | Editorial | Business | Features | Political | Security | Sports | World | Letters | Obituaries |


Produced by Lake House Copyright 2003 The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.

Comments and suggestions to : Web Manager