Monday, March 1, 2010

Sri Lankan Traditional Dancing

Traditional Dances of Sri Lanka was initiated in Sri Lanka during the 4th century B.C for the purpose of expelling natural disasters, sickness and greet people and the land. We find there are mainly three categories in Sri Lankan dancing.

They are,

1) Kandyan dancing
2) Low country dance or Pahatharata Dance

3) Sabaragamuwa dance

Each other
quite differ from the dress, drums, songs, movements of hands, legs and fingers.

Kandyan Dance

This was developed during the Kindom of Kandy. The dance imitates movements of animals. The costumes of Kandyan dancers are colorful with white, red, yellow and black mixed. The male dancers with their bare chests decorated with exquisitely silver regalia and spectacular headgear; silver bangles are also worn on the arms and ankles. The performance is accompanied with hectic rhythms of drums called "Geta Beraya"or "Udarata Beraya".

There are 18 main dances in Kandyan Style called "Daha Ata Wannam
", that is eighteen Wannams.

Mayura Wannama - The dance of the Peacock (Mayura in Sinhala)
Hanuma Wannama - The dance of the Monkey(Hanuma in Sinhala)
Gajaga Wannama - The dance of the Kings Tusker (Gaja in Sinhala)
Kirala Wannama - The dance of the crying Kirala Bird
Ukusa Wannaa - The dance of the Eagle (Ukussa in Sinhala)
Sinharaja Wannama - The dance of the Tortoise and Lion

Thuranga Wannama - The dance of the Horse (Thuranga in Sinhala)
Uraga Wannama - The dance of the Snake (Uraga in Sinhala)
Musaladi Wannama - The dance of the Rabbit
Sawula Wannama-
Eeradi Wamnam- The dance of the soldier
& more

Kohomba Kankariya, Ves Dance, Naiyandi Dance, Udakki Dance, Pantheru Dance are very interesting in Kandyan dancing.

Pahatharata Dance

Dances in low country are highly ritualistic. The drum used in Ruhunu or Pahatharata dancing is "Yak Beraya",or "demon drum". This form of dance is performed to appease evil spirits which cause sickness. The dancers wear masks depicting many characters varied in forms of bird, demons, reptiles, etc. There are 18 main dances related to pahatharata style known as the Daha Ata Sanniya held to exorcise 18 types of diseases from the human body.
The drums called daula or thammattama accompanied the dance. Dance has a lot of dramas in it maru sanniya, giri devi, shanthi karma are some of them. kolam too comes under this but with masks.

Sabaragamuwa Dance

The dance relating to the worshiping of God Saman who is much revered by Ratnapura area. There are 32 main dances in Sabaragamuwa Style. In Sabaragamuwa dancing mainly men take part and ladies too allowed sindu mathraya, gaman mathraya, yakpada mathraya, patu thala mathraya are some of them. Drum used in Sabaragamu is the "Daula"

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