Nruthyanada “The Sound of Dancing” a celebration of cultural heritage of Sri Lankan dancing and music was successfully presented by VidhuNarthana Dancing School on the 29 August 2015 at the beautiful Riverside Theatre in Parramatta. The renowned Sri Lankan traditional dancing teacher, Vidusha Surige has been carrying on the good work of passing on the traditional Sri Lankan art form of dancing to the next generation for over 8 years in Sydney. This performance showcased the outstanding skills her students have achieved together with the dancing performances of several other Sydney professionals and sister dancing schools.
The show was a treat to the eyes with plenty of traditional Sri Lankan dancing techniques on display. Sri Lanka has three main traditional Dancing Styles - The Kandian Dances of the Hill Country, The Low Country Dances and Sabaragamuwa Dancing. These classical dancing forms has their own unique style of body movements, gestures, in the costumes worn by the performers and the shape and the size of the traditional drums used to provide the traditional percussion sounds which accompany the dance. Nruthyanada presented number of items performed by the teacher Vidusha herself and the students which depicted the various dancing styles in their full glory. The concert also included several very entertaining Bharatanatyam (Indian traditional dancing), Bollywood and Western Dancing forms.
This well-rehearsed extravaganza easily captured the audience from the beginning to the end with its brilliantly colourful well designed costumes, powerful visualisations, rhythmic, melodious sounds and enormous vitality of the performers. The show was choreographed and directed by the talented Vidusha Surige and project managed by Roy Gunaratne of RoyGrafix fame.
The positive impact of dancing on children is well-researched and known. Sri Lankan Dancing forms help children with their strength, posture and flexibility. Children can learn more effectively when they are involved in an activity where they can be expressive with their whole bodies. The mind and the body are connected and one simply feeds off the other. As we need physical movement to stay strong and healthy, emotionally we need movement to stay strong and healthy as well. It was pleasing to see over 80 students of varying ages performing in great harmony and synchronisation. It is clear that the benefits of dancing goes well beyond maintaining the one’s heritage.
The guest singer artist Saman Lenin, who became the best Folk singer in Sri Lanka 2015 added colour to the concert with his superb singing and particularly his presentation on folksongs of Sri Lanka.
It was heart-warming to see the special dedication made to the pioneering Dancing teacher Mala Abewickrama's over 20 years of dedicated service.
After thoroughly enjoying the concert, I was convinced that Vidusha has much to contribute to the subject matter of Traditional Dancing.
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--- Reported by Dr. Cicil Fonseka ---