Yasasi: bright spark in Bharata Natyam flame
VERSATILITY: Bharata Natyam is considered to be a fire-dance - the
mystic manifestation of the metaphysical element of fire in the human
body. It is one of the five major styles that include odissi (element of
water), and Mohiniattam (element of air).
The movements of an authentic Bharata Natyam dancer resemble the
movements of a dancing flame. Thus it is no wonder that when she stepped
onto stage to perform for her Arangethram, Yasasi Tharindra Perera, 14,
portrayed just that- a sparkle of what will one day become a bright
flame in the field of Bharat Natyam in Sri Lanka.
SPIRITUAL DANCE FORMS: Yasasi Tharindra at her Arangethram.
Yasasi is a Year 10 student of Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo. She had
entered the school in 1998 and had been an active student in a number of
sectors during the past few years. She held her Arangethram at her
school on February 3 at 6.00 p.m.
â€śI have always loved dancing. I watched an Arangethram by one of our
old girls when I was in year two. That inspired me to take up Bharata
Natyam,â€ť Yasasi revealed.
Yasasi had been training under Priyadharshani Bandara since she was
eight years old. She had participated in several dance items.
â€śI took part in two shows with my colleagues. We also presented
events for Rupavahini and TNL. Last year, we presented a show called
Saliya Ashokamala and in 2004 we had one called Gruthyamanjalee.
We presented a dance item to the song called Pudamu Mae Kusum for
television programmes. That was in 2001, when I was nine years. It was
my first public dance item,â€ť Yasasi said.
The talented young girl is also practising both up country and low
country dance items. She had participated in a competition named Nirmani
Samuha Bera Sandavni in 2005 and had emerged winner in the all-island
rank along with the troupe. The year 2006 dawned with her taking part in
a group folk dance and clinching the title of all-island winners in that
category as well.
Yasasi is also a talented netball player. She had been under the
guidance of coaches like Deepthi Alwis, Champa Ranjani and Anurangani
Dissanayake. She had brought glory to her alma mater as the team won
second place at a Netball competition in the all-island sector in 2003.
When the team won first place in the competition in 2005, Yasasi had
been elected as the best sportswoman for her role in the under 14
She had been the leader of the under 12 netball team and had been an
active member of the schoolâ€™s under 14 and under 15 netball teams.The
school also clinched the title of third place in the all-island netball
competition in 2005. She received a certificate of excellence at the
Colours Night organised by the Western Province for this achievement.
Yasasi had taken part as a presenter in functions such as Singithi
Rangum and the annual Sinhala New year festival in 2002.
â€śI manage to engage in these activities without letting them get in
the way of my studies. I had dancing classes after school on Wednesdays
and Thursdays and netball practices on Fridays and Mondays,â€ť Yasasi
â€śMy parents, brother, teacher, school, Asoka Bandara, Janani Bandara
and all my friends have been very supportive. They contributed in
numerous ways in organising the Arangethram. I am my guruâ€™s 11th student
to do the Arangethram.
It included 11 items. The Alarippu and Puspanjali, two invocations to
God were the first two items followed by the Sarasvathi Abhivandana.
Then I had dance items to five Sinhala songs such as Wrunda Wanae,
â€śBindumathiâ€ť and Shantha Mae Rathriyae. We usually have items like
Jatiswaram and Varnam in Arangethrams. I concluded with the Thillana.
â€śI practised a lot during the school holidays for this event and it
was a huge success,â€ť she beamed.
Music with spirit from Peterites
GOLDEN JUBILEE: St. Peterâ€™s College, Colombo Brass Band completes 50
years and to mark their Golden Jubilee they will present Ritmico con
Spirito (Music with Spirit) on February 18 at 4.30 p.m. at the BMICH.
Shanil Fernando, 18, the band leader said organising the concert was
a huge task.
â€śI got lot of support from the school. All the members in the senior
band helped me. I have been in the band for almost 10 years. It
developed my talents and I learnt to play lot of instruments. I also
learnt leadership qualities. Iâ€™ will be sitting for my A/Ls this year
but I will continue to do music as a hobby,â€ť Shanil said.
Junior band of St. Peterâ€™s College.
â€śOur band is the first cadet brass band in the country. Twelve
leading schools will participate in this show. There will also be a
dance troupe,â€ť he added.
â€śI have been in the band for 10 years. It is really good being in the
band. We are like a family. We have played for other occasions also. It
is pleasant to work together with everybody. Everyday we have practices
and we started practising two months ago. It will be a grand show,â€ť
Kumara Silva, 18 said.
Supun Narangoda, 17 the deputy band leader said he loves music.
â€śMusic is my life. I come from a musical family. That has helped me a
lot in my life. I have completed seven years in the band. I play the
saxophone and I enjoy it very much,â€ť he said.
Malintha Perera, 17 said being a band member has taught him a lot of
good lessons. â€śI play the trumpet in the band. It has taught many
lessons. I have learnt to work together. I have improved my talents.
This event is a good opportunity especially for youngsters. They get
good exposure through this event,â€ť Malintha explained.
Intermediate band of St. Peterâ€™s College.
â€śI was the junior band leader in 2001. I then joined the senior band.
I play the tuba. I have improved my talents and I enjoy playing for the
band. Through the band we learn a lot and we teach little ones also,â€ť
Angelo Kalansuriya, 17, said.
Nilshan Rupasinghe, 17, said this event is going to be very
interesting. â€śI joined the band because I like it. Our master helps us a
lot. I joined the band in grade five and will continue music,â€ť he
â€śFor seven years I have contributed to the band. We are happy that we
got this grand opportunity once again to exhibit our talents. The senior
band will play 11 songs. With the support of others we are going to have
a great event,â€ť W. A. D. Nirmal Rukshan, 17, added.
Nisal Fernando, 16, said everybody is trying their best to make this
event a success. â€śEverybody is eager and working hard. I have taken part
in most of the band shows in school. I play the saxophone. We have a
good team and we practised a lot. It is going to be great show,â€ť he
Pradeep John, 16 and Dileepa Silva, 16 said the band has improved and
is in a better condition.
â€śIt is definitely better than when we started. The quality has
improved and we can come out better this time,â€ť they said.
Dreno Mortier, 16, added the standard of the band has improved. â€śWe
got a lot of support from the school to improve our band. With the new
instruments we are sure to have a good show,â€ť he said.
All team members thanked their bandmaster Daya Karunatilake, Fr. Siri
Cooray, priest in charge, Fr. Travis Gabriel, Rector, teachers and
parents for their untiring efforts in organising this event.
They invite all teen readers to enjoy this magnificent show.
Pictures by Mahinda Vithanachchi