Performing to packed crowds at the well-known Teatro Vascello, in Rome, the show captured the three major traditions of Sri Lankan dance bringing to the Italian audience the fine, ancient tradition of Sri Lanka dance dating back 2500 years and blending this ancient tradition with modernity.
The fact that the performances were so well received itself in a city such as Rome- home to one of world’s most treasured civilizations and rich array of fine arts and performances – is indeed a no mean achievement.
Beginning and invoking the deities with Danno budunge, the finely choreographed show presented one of the finest expositions of Sri Lankan dance in Rome. The Dance of Harmony depicting the elements of the Sri Lankan flag placed the setting for an exquisite display Sri Lankan dance. While the Kandyan dance was portrayed with a stunning performances of Ves, the Vannama’s – Mayura, Gajaga and the Ukussa – displayed the essence of the 18 Vannama’s reflected in Sri Lankan dances. The mask dances Naga Gurulu Raksha, Masks of Sri Lanka from the South of Sri Lanka, the Sabaragamuwa dances presented the rich diversity in Sri Lankan dances. Elements of the Kohomba kankariya- the embryo of Sri Lankan dance- gave the audience the depth and symbolism that are captured in Sri Lankan dance. The show refinely portrayed the day-to-day life of rural Sri Lanka – thus displaying the simplicity of rural Sri Lanka amidst the richness of the island's culture. The Tamil Dance with its elaborate costume and movement reflected Sri Lanka's rich multi-cultural diversity. The dialogue of drums witnessed the rich array of drumming forms with Jananath Warakagoda leading with the geta beraya.
The quality of the show, for its choreography, music and presentation including costume, was applauded by many who critique dance in this City of Rome, commenting that it was a truly professional presentation of a rich and complex Asian dance tradition. Experts commented that Sri Lankan dance with its symbolism, complex movement is one of finest forms of civilizational expression finely portrayed in Thala.
The impact the theatre presentations made for the visibility for Sri Lanka seems particularly good given the era of peace that has dawned on this island nation.Photo