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DateLine Wednesday, 13 June 2007

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Encountering Buddhist spirituality

PHOTOGRAPHY: Dhanushka Amarasekara, creative director cum photographer, will be holding an exhibition of photography titled “The eye of the beholder” at the Barefoot Gallery from June 13 to 24.

A number of black and white images based on the concept of Buddhist spirituality will be on display.

Dhanushka had spent a couple of months venturing through the holy cities of India: Bodh Gaya, Varanasi, Rajgir and Nalanda, in her quest to capture what she described as “the untouched spirituality which almost seemed to belong to a different time zone.”

“I attained higher education in Australia. I started out as a painter and then I turned to sculpture. Later I became a creative director at Liquidmedia,” expressed Dhanushka who had now become a full time photographer.

“I was very good at life drawing. The human figure captivated me. Therefore my earliest work was based on male nudes and homosexuality.”

The change of theme occurred due to attending the Khoj International artists residency programme held in New Delhi in 2006. Dhanushka had close contact with the sacred places where the Buddha had set foot.

“These photographs are done mainly due to my interest. I felt quite comfortable approaching the subject. The shooting style is more documentary as I did not use models as I did in my past work.

I spent at least a month travelling around the same areas, trying to capture the perfect image. Sometimes the light was bad because it was the winter period but I did not use any form of artificial light,” she explained adding that though she had turned towards a different theme, she had not given up nude photography.

“I had to possess the sensuality to recognise exceptional images. That took a bit of time and it is not easy to engage in this, especially when you are a woman.”

Dhanushka had taken part in several group and solo exhibitions held in the island as well as abroad. Her work is also on display at the Harold Peiris Gallery and 12 of her images will be exhibited in Frankfurt.

“This exhibition is my first step towards the subject. This is not the complete work but work in progress. Dominic Sansoni is my inspiration. As the title, “The eye of the beholder”, suggests, my viewers are free to feel and experience my work. I hope the exhibition will become a success,” she said, smiling.

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‘A King’s Journey’ to shadow puppetry



ANCIENT FORM OF STORY TELLING: Shadow puppetry

PUPPETRY: The Namel Malini Punchi Theatre at Borella will be the venue for the puppet theatre performance from Germany today at 11.00 am and 6.00 pm.

The troupe has so far performed in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Switzerland and Austria. They are now in Sri Lanka to perform Shadow Theatre: ‘A King’s Journey’.

A special kind of puppetry performed by Annette Wurbs and Peter Mueller, good to be viewed by all and preferably to entertain those over and above the age group of six. It is an ancient form of story telling using opaque, often articulated figures in front of illuminated backdrop to create the illusion of moving images.

Shadow Theatre: ‘A King’s Journey’, is the surreal and adventurous story of a king, a lady and very special population. In this fictional world, the men always carry watering cans and the women umbrellas. But the King was an exception and this remarkable King had never left the castle. He is a loner and his only contact is his housekeeper, a lady with an umbrella.

Angry about their solitary King, the people break his tower and it falls apart. The king tumbles straight down and through to the other side of the earth. Mrs. Care, the lady who falls with him, saves the King and takes care of him. After a flight through earth’s interior, they find themselves in Australia.

They wanted to go home, but this means they both have to travel half way round the world and it is not easy and the King argues with Mrs. Care. They both have what is useful to each, Crown to the King and the umbrella to the lady and their fantastic journey back home begins passing many places both dangerous and adventurous.

This unique one hour story woven by German puppeteer and actress Annette Wurbs and Peter Mueller is told by her team. Only two players animate over 60 characters. The play is directed by Stefan Wey and music is by John Carlson.

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Love takes a twist on the A9



FIRST MUSLIM TO WRITE A SINHALA NOVEL:
Rinaz Mohammed
Picture by Rukmal Gamage

BOOK LAUNCH: ‘Migara’ a print journalist who is sent to cover the A9 opening following the 2003 ceasefire, falls in love with a beautiful Tamil girl in Jaffna.

Kaumadi is genuine in her return of affection towards this attractive man, a Sinhalese who she should have regarded as an enemy across the line.

What is unknown to Migara was that Kaumadi, a victim of circumstances, is an LTTE activist.

The first Sinhala novel to be written by a Muslim, Rinaz Mohammed, tells a heart wrenching story on how war has affected the youth of all ethnicities in Sri Lanka and how it has contributed to re-shape their entire life.

The evolving story takes an unexpected turn as Migara learns of the true identity of his girlfriend and narrate how the events that follow suit affect the lives of his family - especially his brother’s, who is an intelligence officer and the younger sister who is a teacher.

Suspected of having LTTE links, Migara escapes to Denmark fleeing his pursuers. There he tries to pick the pieces of his shattered life until one day...

Rinaz a past pupil of St. John’s College, Nugegoda was the first Muslim newsreader to read the main Sinhala news bulletin on Sri Lanka’s national television - Rupavahini. He joined Rupavahini in 1991. It was the beginning of his long and a successful journalistic career. He is currently the Deputy of the Swarnawahini News Unit.

The book; A9 will be launched at Mahaweli centre on June 16 at 3.30 p.m. Upul Shantha Sannasgala will deliver the keynote address. The guest speakers will be Mohan Samaranayake and Jackson Anthony.

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Sri Lankan artist to take part in ‘Adobe Live 2007’ - UK

PAINTINGS: Life is an artist’s palette. And so it is for Bandula Samarasekera. “Character design is my passion,” he says “and I find it extremely fascinating because it allows me to express myself in the way that I want to. I draw inspiration from everything that surrounds me; people on the street, music, architecture, history and mythology.”

Bandula is a talented specialist who has worked as a visualiser using exclusively Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator as well as Freehand and Painter software to create astounding works of art. Some of his pacesetting work has won recognition from Adobe internationally.

Bandula’s Digital Illustrations using Adobe software has also won him many awards including the All Island Digital Design Poster Competition for professionals held by the Sri Lanka Institute of Printing in March 2002.

His recently launched website www.bcomart.com carries ample proof of his wide and varied styles. Among these is a portrait of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

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The Projector:

Dance to the beat of Jhoom Barabar Jhoom

CINEMA: There have been love triangles. And there also have been love quadrangles. More often than not, such stories involving love are enriched with dollops of emotions, sentiments and tears. But Jhoom Barabar Jhoom is different.

Yes, it is a love quadrangle but with loads of fun, smiles, laughter, catchy beats, song and dance. This movie is the third directorial outing for Shaad Ali who has Saathiya and Bunty Aur Babli to his credit.

This quadrangle is about Rikki, Anaida, Alvira and Steve. Rikki is a city smart chap. For him living life is simple and no work is big or small. Hailing from Punjab and lodging himself in Southall, he looks at ruling over the city. Anaida is completely opposite to him.

An Assistant Manager at The Ritz Hotel, Paris, she had the finesse that every woman working at a top position in the hospitality industry is expected to carry.

Alvira was a Pakistani Brit who was more Brit than any regular Brit and was less Pakistani than anyone could ever imagine. Carrying a Princess attitude throughout and looking for her Prince charming to sweep her away, she did meet one eventually.

Steve, a millionaire and immensely rich joint partner of London’s reputed Singh & Smith Law firm with deadly looks and personality steals her heart. They met at Madame Tussaud’s where Steve saved her from a falling Superman model. They were in each other’s arms, only dreaming to stay the same forever.

Well, almost that is until Rikki and Alvira meet and sparks begin to fly. But the big question is who will end up with who?

Jhoom Barabar Jhoom (Dance Baby Dance) will start screening at E.A.P. Theatres islandwide from June 15.

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