Innovators in the making
Director Senesh speaks about Sri Lanka’s first
reality show initiated by a school:
Picture by Mahinda Vithanachchi
Modified cot sheet presented by Gampaha Shashi
You need not be a genius to come out with innovative and creative
ideas. Throughout history man had been seeking knowledge and pursuing
means of trying to find creations. The human mind is in the habit of
wandering into uncharted territories and returning with a fragment of an
idea that can be sown and grown to take form into a unique creation.
However the avenues available for these divergent thinkers to express
their ideas are very limited and the costs associated in letting these
ideas take shape are high so that many fear to risk putting them into
Taking these issues into consideration the Nalanda Junior Old Boys
Association brings forth ‘Innovator’ 08’ the reality television
programme which is in search of individuals with new scientific
concepts. Trend-setting young director, Senesh Dissanayake Bandara, who
made his mark as the best director at this year’s Raigam and Sumathi
Tele Awards, produces the programme.
“‘Innovator’ 08’ is part of the annual educational and career
exhibition, ‘Future Minds’ initiated by the college. The project is
carried out under Ravi Ahangama,” Senesh explained.
The concept of the programme was developed in March and towards the
end of April the pre-planning and pre-production took shape.
New plastering mixture for walls by Kosgoda Gunadasa
Shooting began at the school’s Malalasekara Auditorium on Sundays.
“It was one of the largest and well-equipped auditoriums owned by a
school in Colombo.
It caught fire in 2006 and was partly destroyed. We feel that it is
our duty to help refurbish it. We need around Rs. 700 lakhs for this. We
are hoping to raise that amount through the exhibition,” he said.
According to Dissanayake it was partly his alma mater that brought
him to the position he occupies today.
“Our school had a Drama society and I was an active member.
I have rehearsed and acted on that stage. I consider it an honour to
be able to pay a certain kind of tribute to such a place,” he expressed
adding that all the Nalandians take part in ‘Innovator ‘08’ voluntarily.
“It had not been an easy task especially because we had less at hand
and there have been instances when we faced difficulties and had
misunderstandings but we were motivated to a better job as each episode
passes by,” he said.
Though there are many genres of reality shows around the world and
some of them are aimed at bringing forth new creations ‘Innovator’ 08’
is constructed to suit the Sri Lankan context. The products focus on
issues related to our lifestyle or environment.
Innovative way to seal tea bags by Hiniduma Antony
“Since the programme is based on knowledge and new inventions it is
not an easy task.
We had only around 840 applications. We chose 100 applications and
cut it down further to 50. The nine contestants who were presented at
the show were elected with care after studying their products and
speculating if what they have in mind is possible,” Senesh said.
A jury comprises Dr. Chandana Jayaratne, lecturer at the University
of Colombo, Dr. Lanka Udawatte and Dr. Rohan Munasinghe, both lecturers
of the University of Moratuwa.
Dr. Prabath Karunanayake is in charge of examining the products and
seeing how they function.
Each week a contestant will be eliminated and this will take place by
counting the SMS votes of the viewers. The person who receives the least
SMS votes will have to step down from the stage.
“What we do is bring hidden talents to light.
The society should accept the person and his or her invention. Some
may even possess the ability to put this product to good use.
They can provide these inventors with scholarships and train them on
the subject. They can purchase the product at a reasonable price and
bring it to international notice,” he said pointing out that though the
people lack resources and knowledge, they are capable of thinking and
putting things to practise.
‘Innovator’ 08’ is telecast every Wednesday at 10 p.m. on Rupavahini
and the grand final will be held tomorrow.
The winner will be receiving a trophy and cash prize. A theme song
sung by veteran vocalists and vocalists of the younger generation will
be revealed at the final.
“This is the first time that an individual body got together to
produce a reality show.
All the other reality programmes are done by television stations,”
Senesh said adding that the Nalandians are hoping to hold the programme
each year. ‘Innovator’ 08’ is sponsored by Ceylon Biscuits Ltd.
From thoughts to canvas
Majestic - emerging from the wild
There are painters who transform the sun into a yellow spot but there
are others who, thanks to their art and intelligence, transform a yellow
spot into the Sun - Anon
Children have an endless well of creative energy. It shows up in the
whimsical lyrics they sing, their imaginative play and in their innate
ability to make something out of anything. Kumari de Alwis had skilfully
brought out these talents of her students from thoughts to canvas.
‘A Brush with Art V’ an exhibition of paintings by Kumari’s students
will take place at the Lionel Wendt Gallery on June 28 and 29, from 10
a.m. to 8 p.m.
A product of St. Bridget’s Convent, de Alwis had shown her flair for
art during her school days. Her passion for music persuaded her find a
job as a music teacher but she did not lose touch with art. She studied
painting under Mudliyar A.C.G.S. Amarasekera and started off her career
as an art teacher and an assistant teacher at the Amarasekera School of
Art before migrating to Pakistan.
De Alwis’ career as an artist and teacher came about during her stay
in Karachchi, where she taught art and music at St. Patrick’s Primary
School. In Germany she involved herself in the reproductive work of
paintings at the Art Gallery in Frankfurt.
She was also able to find a market for her own work and she sold
several paintings to buyers in UK while continuing her teaching career
at New Castle Christian School, Germany.
Over the past 20 years Kumari had been inspiring the young and old to
pick up a paint brush, sketch pad or palette knife. She had nurtured the
minds of children and adults into going wild with their imagination to
produce collections of beautiful paintings. ‘A Brush with Art V’ held by
Kumari’s students will comprise paintings in water colours, pastels,
charcoal and oils.
Dancer with a patriotic pulse
Picture by Palitha Gunasena
Many Holy Scriptures explain it as the dancing of celestial
performers. Bharatha Natyam is said to be the mystic creation of
metaphysical elements in the human body. To learn and get the feel of
it, you should devote your whole life. Shashipriya Ranjana Chathuranga
has dedicated his life to Bharata Natyam.
The best way to describe him would be a dancer with a patriotic
pulse. Chathuranga has tried his best to support the defence cause in
the country; he once donated Rs. 80,000 to the State defence fund from a
This patriotic dancer hailing from Kegalle, became passionate with
dancing at 14, when he had to select an aesthetic subject at school.
“I learnt the art of Bharatha Natyam under Chudamani Wasantha Kumari
Suriyakumaran at school and later under Basil Mihiripenne.”
Chathuranga in a striking dance pose.
At 18 he received a scholarship to India to study Bharatha Natyam
further. He joined Kalaksehthralaya in Chennai. Having studied the art
of dance for about four years, he is now back to his motherland to share
his skills with the younger generation. His classes are being held
throughout the country.
He is the Director of Bharatha Nruthya Rangana Kala Nikethan in his
Among Chathuranga’s upcoming programmes is ‘Tharuwak Samaga Tharu
reyak’ tentatively scheduled to be held in December with no date set
yet. The programme is aimed at raising funds for the Forces.
“These days, I am looking for the young crowd skilled in other
dancing forms to teach them Bharatha Natyam.
It is easier when you know at least one dancing style.”
Chathuranga’s belief is that there is no shortcut to perfect the
subject. Every subject has to be learnt through hardships of constant
“There is no other way for you to achieve perfection. Most of the
present day generation take only a little time to study, and get into
dancing by hook or by crook. This is not a good trend. This is not good
for dancing as an art.”
In addition to Bharatha Natyam, Chathuranga is also well-versed in
free style and ballet.
He believes other styles of dancing should also be learnt.
“You should know how to control and gain influence from each style to
form an independent dancing method,” he stressed.
High glamour at:
Sumathi Tele Awards
Out of all the awards ceremonies focusing on the small screen there
is no doubt that the ‘Sumathi Tele Awards’ is one of the most looked
forward to events of the year.
Many speculated on who will walk away with which award and many more
voted for their favourites to be crowned as the most popular artistes of
the year. Here we bring to you some of the highlights of the glittery
event which marked its 13th successful year on June 14.
Roger Senaviratne, Chandani Senavirathe (Best actor and
actress) Manjula Kumari and Roshan Ranawana (Most popular
actor and actress) Pictures by Tennyson Edirisinghe
Senesh Dissanayake Bandara receives the award for best
Saliya Sathyajith, Roshan Ranawana and Dushyantha Weearman
entertain the crowd
Apahu Harenna Behe at Negombo and at Elphinstone
Award winning contemporary playwright and director Rajitha
Dissanayake’s most recent theatre endeavour Apahu Harenna Behe (No
Return) will be staged on June 28 at the Negombo, Rukmanidevi Theatre
and at the Ehphistone Theatre on July 2 at 3.30 pm. and 6.45 p.m.
As one man vows to do everything in his power to achieve supremacy
another fights to preserve his higher purpose in life. The fate of the
men and women you meet in this piece of theatre will at times be
optimistic and at times be frightfully daunting.
A production by the Freedom Theatre Group, the cast of “No Return”
comprises Saumya Liyanage, W. Jayasiri, Jayani Senanayake, Prasad
Sooriyarachchi, Darmapriya Dias, Bimal Jayakodi, Shyam Fernando and
Two books to be launched
Senior journalist Wimalasena Ihalagama will latest historical work
“Veera Puranappu will be launched at the Dharmayathanaya (opposite the
BMICH), Colombo 7 on July 4 at 4 p.m. Ven. Elle Gunawansa,
Viharadhipathi of Dharmayathanaya will preside over the launching
ceremony. Kalasuri Edwin Ariyadasa will deliver the keynote address.
Nopenena Lowa Athbootha Katha, the latest novel written by senior
journalist, Wimalasiri Agalakada will be launched at Mahagamasekara
College audatorium, Randavana, on June 28 at 2.30 p.m.
The book is a compilation of a series of exciting, strange events.
Veteran novelist K. Jayatileke will address the gathering while Dr.
Chandradasa Sooriyarachchi, lecturer of the University of Kelaniya, Ven.
Tharane Dammaratana thera and Minister of Cultural Affairs, Mahinda Yapa
Abeywardena will make speeches.
British Gurkha Band here
The Gurkha Band entertaining guests at Galle Face Hotel.
To mark the birthday of Queen Elizabeth II, which fell on Monday, the
Gurkha Band from Nepalese Army, which is now a part of the British Army,
arrived in Sri Lanka to entertain guests at Galle Face Hotel.
VIPs distinguished invitees and guests at the Galle Face Hotel were
treated to an evening of scintillating music when the Guruka Band went
around the hotel performing, to the delight of guests. To portray the
spirit and character of the Gurkha soldier, which is now a part of the
British Army, the Gurkha Band was formed many years ago.
This is the first time that the Gurkha Band has performed in Sri