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DateLine Saturday, 16 June 2007

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One Academy; Two movements

Upcountry and Sabaragamuwa rhythms from Dinethra Dance Academy:

TRADITIONAL DANCE: The Kandyan dance troupe of Dinethra Dancing Academy
at rehearsals

DANCE: Practises, practises and more practises. That is what the teens

 of Dinethra Dance Academy, Kotikawattha, will be engaged in as July approaches.

The academy hopes to present a concert of Up Country and Sabaragamuwa dance presented by about 32 of its members.

All members of the academy are girls from schools in the Colombo district like Ananda Balika, Museaus, Sangamittha, Dudley Senananayake, Gothami Balika etc.

They are under the guidance of Deepthi Piyasekara, a dance teacher at Ananda Balika, Maharagama, assisted by Chethani Pramudita and Erandi Madushani.

“We are engaged in practises every Wednesday afternoon. Though we have planned this event early, we started our practises last month. For now we are engaged in two items. The teachers also expect to put some of us into solo items.

There will be new dance items created to popular hits from veteran artists Amaradeva, Sunil Edirisinghe and Edward Jayakody,” explained Amandi Methsila, 14, a member of the Kandyan dance troupe.

Mauhi Sithara, 15, is another member of Dinethra’s Kandyan dance troupe. She says she chose Kandyan dancing because it is the main dance form in Sri Lanka.

“It is one of the few things which we can call ours. It is something unique to us and embodies the beauty of our dance

RARE TYPE OF DANCE: The Sabaragamuwa dance troupe at rehearsals

 traditions,” she said.

Similar to Mauhi, Nirodha Ashingsana, 15, too loves Kandyan dancing because she believes that it is the main form of Sri Lankan dance.

“Our classes does not go according to the syllabus but we learn many new movements which will become a guide to our future in the field, “Nirodha pointed out.

“I have chosen Arts subjects for my Advanced Levels and one of my main subjects is dancing. Therefore these classes are very beneficial to me.”

According to Senuri Lashika, 14, the girls practise on holidays and weekends when a competition approaches.

Senuri is the only child in the family.

She said her parents have been very pleased to know that she had decided to take up dancing.

After the four girls of the Kandyan dance troupe departed, four more performing Sabaragamuwa dance items took their place. What is so special about this type of dance and what did you think of engaging in it?

Shanika Samarakoon, 18, said. “This is not a very popular type of dance. It differs from the Kandyan in the positions of the hands and feet, the costume and music. You use the Gata Beraya for the Kandyan dance and the Daula for the Sabaragamu dance.

The Kandyan dancer wears the Ves costume while the costume recommended for the Sabaragamuwa dancer is similar to the attire of God Saman. Since fewer people are engaged in this form of dance, I felt it is possible to reach a high position in this field.”

Ayoni Udeshika, 14, said she gains a sense of happiness by dancing to her content. She also added that her personal belief is that dancing is more beneficial than sports because it encourages students’ hidden talents.

“It is not impossible to divide your time between dancing and studies. You need to work according to a timetable,” she said.

Mimasha Sithumini, 13, is a student of Gothami Balika. She said she had been engaged in dancing for five years. Apart from dancing, she loves to listen to music and play badminton.

“Dancing reduces stress and is like a small break from studies. It teaches us how to interact as a group and ethics like worshipping your teachers,” observed Sathya Ravindra, 10. Sahya is the youngest daughter of Deepthi Piyasekara. Her elder sister, Uma Aseni Ravindra, sings the Vannams for the dance items.

“Dinethra is a dance academy registered under the Cultural Ministry. This will be our first show after being accepted officially as a dance academy,” Deepthi Piyasekara, the teacher of the academy expressed.

“All students are given equal training on Kandyan as well as Sabaragamuwa dance. I pick members for each troupe by recognising which dance form they show the most capability. Many students have won medals at all island events and the ‘Sri Lanka Festival of Music, Dance and Speech 2007’.”









Pictures by Palitha Gunasena

Treat for Vakarai teens

VISIT: The Rotary Club of Colombo along with the Rotaract Club of Colombo and Rotaract Club of Regent plus Interactors from St. Paul’s Milagiriya ad Bishop’s College treated 50 children brought from the East by the Army 23rd Division to a day in Colombo.

The children were taken to the Museum, the Zoo and to watch Spiderman 3 followed by dinner. At the end of the day the children were hard pressed to say what had been the highlight of their day, with the votes divided between the zoo and the movie.

The children though tired were very happy with their day in Colombo and had mixed feelings about going back to their homes in Vakarai.

Antonian teens show their colours

RENAISSANCE 2007: Teens of St. Anthony’s College, Kandy will conduct `Renaissance 2007’, an Educational Exhibition and Co-curricular Activity Fair which brings out their strengths and talents.

The Science Society of St. Anthony’s College will present `Renaissance 2007’ expanding the frontiers of Scientific Exploration. The event is organised to commemorate the 153 College Day. The proceeds of this event will be invested in restructuring the Colllege’s Chemistry and Biology laboratories.

The exhibition will bring to light an array of exhibits in science and technology and other areas of education.

It will also bring together a variety of organisations both from the Government and non-Government sector such as University of Peradeniya, Technical Colleges and Sri Lanka Army. Another significant feature of the exhibition is the participation of other schools in Kandy.

Antonians have invited several schools in the Kandy District to share the knowledge and experience of this event.

This exhibition accompanies with it a series of competitions organised to enhance the scientific and artistic talents of the young Antonians. The exhibition which commenced on June 14 ends today.


Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service

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