they are special!
The bright flashlights create a heavenly aura upon
the spacious stage. Two rows of children, 20 in each
row, enter the stage from the two corners, and form
a semicircle around the dozen musical instruments
deposited on the centre of the stage. Orderly,
several of the group step forward to pick their
instruments. Music starts. A Prophet’s journey
starts on the stage. The rhythmic bodies move
energetically. The audience is taken on an
enthralling journey for 40 minutes.
This was not just another performance that we
witnessed on December 22 at the Janakala Kendraya in
Battaramulla. Despite the fact that it appeared
quite normal, in fact, it was so special. All the 40
performers, except for the two guest artistes, were
This short play titled Teiyat Ta is the latest
activity organised by the ThIDORA Institute (Theatre
Institute for Disability Oriented Research and
Advocacy) in Thalawatugoda. The 40 students who are
trained at the ThIDORA institute contribute with
their dazzling performance to the play scripted by
Prof. Sunanada Mahendra based on the narrative poem,
The Journey of the Prophet by Bertolt Brecht.
Chorography is handled by Ramani Damayanthi, who in
addition, makes sure that the children are well
taken care of with motherly attention on and off the
stage. Renowned musician Gayan Ganakadara has
composed music while the lyrics are by Jayampathi
Algama and Rohana Deva. Interestingly, the short
play features a hybrid dancing with segments from
Kolam, low-country dancing and even Western dancing.
Under the supervision of the acclaimed choreographer
Karunadasa Olaboduwa, the low-country dance called
‘Gini Sisila’ is skilfully performed by the
intellectually disabled for the first time ever in
Sri Lanka. Furthermore, as Rohana Deva points out,
this is the first time that Sri Lanka witnesses the
emergence of a musical band led by a group of
intellectually disabled children.
Rohana Deva who initiated this institute with his
20-year experience in theatre mentions with
gratitude how this endeavour was made possible by a
US project called ‘Project Ahimsa’ with funds for
the workshops and the musical instruments. The
workshops are conducted from 9a.m. to 1:30p.m.,
everyday at ThIDORA Theatre in Thalawatugoda.
Gayan Ganakadara, expressing his views,
emphasised the speciality of each child. Even though
there are unavoidable challenges in training the
children due to their biological conditions, working
with them has been an enthralling experience for
him. The children would give vent to rhythm once
they are exposed to music, as he emotionally
mentions. Undoubtedly, the play illustrates the
extent of the dedication made by the organisers in
understanding the psychology of these children and
patiently opening doors for their creative output.
Teiyat Ta will be premiered at the John de Silva
theatre on January 8, 2010 at 6:45 p.m.
|Over 180 AL students receive
More than 180 students island-wide
received merit scholarships for best performances in
the GCE (A.L.) Examination of August 2009. These
scholarships were in three sections such as all
island best performers in all four streams - Maths,
Biology, Commerce and Arts as district best
performers in all four streams together with Colombo
schools best performers in all four streams at
Pragnyawalokanaya, a ceremony conducted by the Leo
Club of Colombo Wekanda, 306 CI along with the
Academy of Business Studies Institute (ABSI) on
December 28 at the BMICH.
The chief guest was
Minister of Education Susil Premajayantha, guest of
honour Minister of Environment and Natural Resources
Patalie Champika Ranawaka.
Addressing the gathering Project Chairperson, Leo
Club of Colombo Wekanda 306 CI Dhanushka Ramanayake
said,“We started the ‘Pragnyawalokanaya’ concept in
the year 2006 by joining hands with the ABS
Institute by organising a mass scale A/L seminars
for students following science and commerce streams
addressed by well-known lecturers.
“More than 1,000 students from all around the
district benefited from this project and in the same
year conducted a multi religious ceremony to bless
the students sitting for their A/L examinations,”
said Ramanayake adding that the project turned out
to be a huge success with gracefully conducted
Buddhist, Christian and Hindu religious services.
“To reward our efforts students participated in
numbers for the event and it was continued in 2007
and in 2008 as well,” he said.
Ramanayke emphasised that they were unable to
carry out the Hindu religious blessings in the years
2007 and 2008 due to unavoidable circumstances.
“We did not conduct the religious blessing programme
as well as the seminars last year because of the
security reasons so we thought of conducting a
scholarship awarding ceremony with the intention of
lending a helping hand for bright students to uplift
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the ABS Institute,
Wasantha Fernando said that ABS from the beginning
in 1995 provided the students with a value added
education package through high quality teaching in a
state of the art lecture environment.
“ABS decided to offer these scholarships
amounting to five million rupees in order to create
a better pathway for those students who have
excelled at the A/L examination through CIMA and CIM,”
He further stated that ABS, being the most award
winning business academy, aimed to generate more
world and Sri Lankan prize winners and this
scholarship scheme created an ideal opportunity for
these best performers to beat the world under the
able guidance of a dedicated panel of lecturers at
“This scholarship awarding ceremony which is
organised by the Leo Club of Colombo Wekanda, 306 C1
together with ABS Institute is a very fruitful one
and I hope that these kinds of projects will create
better opportunities for outstanding students
lacking a proper career direction,” said Minister
He further stated that he expects ABS would continue
programmes of this nature in the future as well.
According to Ramanayake, it is hoped to come up with
a ‘Pragnyawalokanaya’ vocational training centre
“There was a request from Germany for our Leo
Club for the starting a vocational training centre
in Sri Lanka backed by German funds. So we accepted
their request and thought of beginning a new
vocational centre in Horana,” said Ramanayake.
He further stated that Germany would be funding
Rs.10 billion for this project and they thought of
putting up a vocational training centre as such
specially for the children of low income groups and
for children who were unable to enter a university
for their higher education. Training would be given
in motor winding, late machine works, welding,
electronics along with in many other fields. Already
there had been a very good response from the
government as well regarding the up coming project.
“I wish to place on record my sincere gratitude
to the Prime Minister, Ratnasiri Wickremanayake and
also to the Horana Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP)
organiser, Vidura Wickramanayake for the immense
support towards this project,” said Ramanayake.
|2012: A nightmare with a happy
‘Judgment days’ keep popping up in
history. Year 2000 came and passed – one that many
considered to be the year of humanity’s doom’; and
with veteran German disaster film guru, Roland
Emmerich’s latest adrenaline rising production
arriving at theatres; 2012 has become the new 2000.
On Saturday, December 12, Art Television held a
“Special Night Show” of this epic movie at the Savoy
theatre. Art TV was right to call the show
‘special’, for the show was indeed ‘special’ in many
aspects. The show, which commenced minutes before
midnight, went on till about half-past two the
following morning. As nocturnal as it may sound,
this was indeed what was most inviting of the show,
for which tickets had to be ‘won’, as opposed to
being purchased. The feeling of stepping out of the
theatre, on a day different to the one that we
entered the same. complimented with the feeling of
the ‘new world’ with which the movie ended.
“From the Director of Independence Day and Day
After Tomorrow, we were warned. Who will be left
behind? The end is just the beginning. Mankind’s
earliest civilisation warned us, this day would
come...” The teaser trailer of 2012 makes the movie
sound like just another disaster movie. This,
however, is not exactly the case. 2012 has much more
to it than a pulverising disaster movie. It is an
incongruous sentimental drama about a broken family,
it’s a harbinger of the unpredictability of the
future, an illustration of the enormous power of
nature and how timid mankind is, before the same,
and most of all, it is an awe-inspiring, poignant
piece about the very essence of being humane and
This cinematic creation opens with a haphasard
lives of random individuals: A failed science
fiction writer (played by John Cusack), a
conscience-stricken scientist (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a
snappish White House official (Oliver Platt), a
radio-host crackpot (Woody Harrelson) and many more.
Emmerich, like an expert un-jumbling the pieces of a
jigsaw puzzle, brings these individuals together,
all with the common aim of survival.
This apocalyptic film, distributed by Columbia
Pictures, centres around an ensemble cast of
characters, as they narrowly escape a multitudes of
catastrophes, in an effort to reach the ‘Arks’ in
the Himalayas, along with scientists and governments
of the world who are attempting to save as many
lives as they can before the disasters ensue.
This perfect blend of mythology, fiction and
science makes brief references to Mayanism and the
2012 phenomenon, in its portrayal of cataclysmic
events foreseen to be unfolding in the year 2012.
Because of solar flare bombardment, the Earth’s core
is prophesied to begin heating up at an
unprecedented rate, eventually causing crustal
displacement. This results in an onslaught of
Doomsday event scenarios plunging the world into
utter chaos. The film is tantamount to a 21st
century retelling of the story of Noah’s Arch in the
Gospels, as the heads of state of the G8 summit
begin a massive, secret project intended to ensure
the survival of humanity. Only 400,000 people are
chosen to board a series of Arks to be constructed
in the Himalayas.
Acting as a counterbalance to the action of an
unprecedented level, are the little touches of comic
relief added by Emmerich. Gordon (Tom McCarthy)
tells his wife, Kate (Amanda Peet), “I feel like
something is pulling us apart.” Then a gaping
fissure opens between them in the aisle of the
supermarket where they’re standing and ‘pulls them
apart’. This, among many others, makes 2012
destruction served with a smile.
“Time for Miracles” by the American Idol runner-up
Adam Lambert is the official soundtrack of this US$
200 million production, the cinematography,
production design and visual effects are simply
breathtaking. Emmerich, being the virtuoso of
panoramic computer graphics maven he is, has densely
packed shots in this masterpiece of a movie with
hellish detail as Da Vinci’s ‘Last Supper’;
“I know we’ve all been forced to make difficult
decisions to save our human civilisation. But to be
human means to care for each other, and civilisation
means to work together, to create a better life”
says Adrian Helmsley (Chiwetel Ejiofor) “If that’s
true, then there’s nothing human and nothing
civilised about what we’re doing here. “The moment
we stop fighting for each other, that’s the moment
that we lose our humanity”, in one of the most
awe-inspiring moments of the film.
Having organised premiers for ‘Night at the
Museum’, ‘X-Men’, ‘Ice Age 3’, ‘Harry Potter’ and
‘This Is It’, among others, the organising team of
the Art TV “Special Night Show” comprised Indunil,
Saranga, Sanjay and Shashika, Tyner, Sabrina,
Sanjeeva and Shalini.
Were the Mayans true? There is only one day to find
out. Just live today to the fullest, cause you never
know if tomorrow’s doomsday.
|Antichrist strikes hot with
sex and horror
|By K.S. Sivakumaran
Would you call it pornography, erotica or
mutilating horror? I am referring to the
controversial film by the Danish filmmaker Lars Von
Trier, shown at the recently concluded Kerala
International Film Festival. The film is
anti-Christian, in the sense it goes beyond
acceptable religious values and morality. The film
is rightly titled Antichrist.
Like any other South Asian, with values different
from the European kind, I was naturally disturbed by
the explicit sex acts, and worst of all, nailing
into the bones of a man with a heavy roller, and the
fear and uncertainty.
All this ingredients collect into a vendetta by evil
in the form of a saddened mother and the eventual
brutal killing of the beloved wife (the mother of a
fallen dead child) by her husband himself. That’s
how the films sequences are made.
film is more than what it shows on the surface, in
the sense, it is more psychological and
philosophical, thus elevating the film to a level
that could not be dismissed as mere jinx
As I understood it, the film subtly suggest the
consequences of evil taking the better seat, even in
otherwise noble and deeply loved couples.
Ironically, the husband is a therapist and the
wife is a loving spouse and mother. But when
confronted with a severe loss, they lose their cool.
Fear engulfs the wife, and the husband comforts her
through psychological means, and intimacy through
The first half of the film shows the man
dominating the scene, even to the extent of being
hated by the wife, although his intentions were
honest in bringing the depressed wife to normality.
The wife knows that, but her deep grievance in
having lost the child, makes her evil of a woman.
She becomes stronger in the latter half of the film,
and the man succumbs to her ferocious outpourings. I
had a feeling that she becomes Kaali, a destroyer
among the Hindu Goddesses. She is, in fact, Shakthi
(Energy) that is the driving force. But she could
also be a destroyer, if something goes wrong.
The atmosphere in the film, from start to end, is
eerie. It has parallels in the outward natural
surroundings of jungles and solitariness, and also
the vagaries of human nature.
Although I was taken aback at first, as the story
developed, I tried to read meanings into the film,
and that astonished me. The screenplay, with short
and dimensional usage words uttered with clarity, to
evoke the viewer to get into the action of the film
gradually, is commendable. The director himself has
This is a black and white film made this year, and
it befits the purpose, without distracting the
viewer and shown at Cannes. Charlotte Gainsbourg,
not a glamorous star, but with a sexually appealing
figure, plays the role of the evil woman. She won
Best Actress at the Cannes International film
Festival this year. The male role is played by
This film is a co-production of five countries-
Denmark, Germany, France, Sweden and Italy. The
technical aspects of the film such as
cinematography, editing and sound are remarkably