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Letters


Readers please note it is essential that all letters to the Editor carry the full name and address of the writer, even if it has to appear under a pseudonym. This applies to all email letters as well.

 

BurkaBondage

Friday, December 10
The Goethe-Institut showcases the dance theatre performance BurkaBondage by the German choreographer Helena Waldmann within their programme of modern dance to draw people’s attention to the contemporary dance scene.
Since the Goethe-Institut seeks to deliver insight into the contemporary dance scene and is eager to build an audience for contemporary dance, the dance theatre performance BurkaBondage is a representative realisation of some current trends in the modern dance scene.

The evocative production has its focus on a sensitive subject matter: The burka, which is a coat worn by Afghan women, completely covering them, and bondage referring to a technique which ties Japanese women submissively up. This venue, with its spacious stage, will be ideal for the exceptionally ‘lifting’ dance performance. The special visual experience includes two dancers acting on an elaborately and laboriously designed stage and is accentuated by live video art and live percussion.

Prior to this main event there will be a discussion with Helena Waldmann within the framework of the dance forum on December 9, at 5:30 p.m. at the Goethe Hall (German Cultural Institut). Here the Berlin-based director and choreographer will converse topics such as the current developments in German dance theatre, her approach as a choreographer, and the background of her production BurkaBondage.
The tickets for this event will be sold at the Goethe-Institut (German Cultural Center). For more information call: 2694562.
Venue: Navarangahala Hall, Royal College, Colombo 7
Time: 7 p.m.

 

Colombo Dance Platform

Saturday, December 11

Chitrasena Dance Company
Dances and Rhythms of Sri Lanka: This one hour programme concentrates on showcasing the sound and movement of an island people. There is a strong bond between these two artistic elements and it is considered a marriage where one cannot live without the other. It includes a diverse compilation of drums and dance acts pointing to the interdependent relationship between the dance and its drum.
Bera Nada Chalana is the title dance piece which celebrates the idea of duality, the distinct contrast in sound and in movement of the two most popular traditional dance styles of Sri Lanka – the Kandyan and Ruhunu.

Rangika Jeewantha
As a young Sri Lankan dancer, Rangika strongly feels we should explore new paths and presents first a solo performance Thaname, which is a crescendo of musical sounds brought together to perform an up country traditional dance.
A second group performance will follow, including Yathura (a harvest dance showing rice cultivation), Riddi Bisaw (a section from a low country ritual) and Semera (a dance showing the fanning of Sri Lankan kings by courtiers).
Venue: Nelung Arts Centre (Hyde Park Corner) and Park Street Mews
Time: 6 p.m.

Sunday, December 12

Signspeak is nATAND
SIGNSPEAK is nATANDA’s 7th annual dance production that has the intention of raising attention to: dance as a universal, non-verbal form of communication, and how it can interact with different systems of non-verbal and symbol-based language towards the creation of a distinctively new genre of dance and communication; the real-life experiences of deaf, dumb persons, and the particular urgency of bringing attention to these special groups given their serious marginalisation within Sri Lankan society.

Venuri Perera
Venuri Perera is presenting two dance performances: Abhinishkramanaya (Renunciation) and Soldier. The first piece is a personal, symbolic expression of the struggle felt at the moment of departure from the learned, honoured and familiar to the new, unknown and unfamiliar.
An excerpt of Thuranga Vannama is used, playing on the sound in a way that could also depict the struggle within. The second piece is a miniature which was created for Engdhal’s Same Same with Difference - Resolutions 2009, The Place, London. The war imagery was evoked by the movement and mood of dancer/choreographer Chris Vann’s solo Flexed,-inspired by sculpture Diabolo in this personal interpretation.

Nilan (Arpeggio Creative Dance Academy)
Shango, Shango Ho is the name of a performance based on Aimé Césaire’s post-colonial rewrite of Shakespeare’s Tempest. In this excerpt which will be shown as a work in progress, Nilan Maligaspe will perform some attitudes expressed through the character Caliban.

Floating Space
Letters evolved from, and continues to evolve from, the curiosity to work with the moving body to tell a story. The work brings bodies into a space: Bodies that flirt with contact, separation, stillness, speed, silence, levels, even violence, while trying to express something of the vulnerability of reaching out.
How do you dance a series of thoughts? What image, energy, phrasing of movement can convey the story of life–or love as a series of openings and endings? Letters, drawing on the poetry of Sam Shepard, binds four people as they sometimes immerse, sometimes move through the tensions of the moment of being together.
Meranga Dancing Company
The dancing performance “Samsaric Sojourn” consists out of four breathtaking pieces: “Grounding for birth”, “Origin to demise”, “Spirit to the space” and “Searching for life”.

Mohan Sudusinghe
Black And White is a fusion dance highlighting the similarities and differences in traditional dance and martial arts – “I was impressed with the arm and body movement used in that discipline [martial art Angum] as I found a lot of similar movement in dance”.
Venue: Park Street Mews and the Nelung Arts Centre (Hyde Park Corner)
Time: 3 p.m. onwards

 

DBU Christmas Sale

Sunday, December 5
The DBU will be transformed into a marketplace for literally everything! A veritable “pot-pourri” of merchandise will be on offer – from plants to penholders and from art to underwear! Additionally (and traditionally!) the DBU Sale will feature the full complement of delicious, well-loved home-made Burgher food – lomprijst, love cake, broeder, foguetti, a wide range of Dutch and Portuguese sweets and savouries, milk wine, ginger beer and a whole lot more.
Venue: 114, Reid Avenue, Colombo 4
Time: 10 a.m. onwards

 

Captured Moments … The Second Odyssey

A photographic exhibition by Chandrasena Perera

December 10 to 17
Chandrasena Perera is a multi-talented all round photographer, indulging in still photography for more than 40 years besides having ample skill in the field of cinematography as a director and script writer.
Chandrasena’s roaming eye constantly seeks form, shape, contrast and colour and capture superb photographs with fascinating sense of light.
He is an active member of many photography related societies in Sri Lanka.
His new exhibition Captured Moments… The Second Odyssey is a part of the programme Kandy Alliance Photo which is annually organised by the Alliance Française de Kandy. This cultural programme that took place for the first time in 2002 intends to be an echo of the events occurring at the same period of the year in Paris, The Month of Photography and Paris Photo. 12 photographs have been selected and have displayed their works in this programme: Four French, one American and seven Sri Lankan.
A young and self taught artist, Prasanna Upajeewa, and Chandrasena Perera, a well known photographer, are part of the Kandy Alliance Photo 2010.
The exhibition will be declared open on December 10, at 6:30 pm by Dr W A D P Wanigasundera, Head, Department of Agricultural Extension, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya.
Venue: Alliance Française de Kandy, 642, Peradeniya Road, Kandy.

 

Dido and Enaeas

Monday, December 6
Dido and Enaeas, choreographed by Sasha Waltz, directed by Attilio Cremonesi and Sasha Waltz, (2005) moderated by Kapila Palihawadana.
The film, Dido and Aeneas is an opera in a prologue and three acts by the English Baroque composer Henry Purcell to a libretto by Nahum Tate.
The first known performance was at Josias Priest’s girls’ school in London no later than the summer of 1688. The story is based on Book IV of Virgil’s Aeneid, and recounts the love story of Dido, Queen of Carthage and the Trojan hero Aeneas, and her despair at his abandonment.
A monumental work in Baroque opera, it is remembered as one of Purcell’s foremost theatrical works. Dido and Aeneas was Purcell’s first (and only) all-sung opera and is among the earliest English operas. It owes much to John Blow’s Venus and Adonis, both in structure and overall effect.
Venue: Goethe Hall, 39, Gregory’s Road, Colombo
Time: 5:30 p.m.

 

Open Notebook

In recognition of the epic victory of the Sri Lankan military forces against the feared Tamil Tigers’ terrorist outfit–a bruising conflict that dragged on for almost three decades at enormous social, economic and political cost to this alluring tear-drop shaped island nation–the Philippine-based Gusi International Peace Prize has selected a distinguished Sri Lankan Army officer, Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe, as one of the recipients of the 2010 event which takes place at the Philippine International Convention Centre on November 24.
Having seen service in battle, General Hathurusinghe now commands the military forces in the north in peace, and is playing a key role in over sighting the advent of calm and prosperity in what was the erstwhile heartland of the Tamil Tigers.

On hearing news of his nomination for the award General Hathurusinghe told The Manila Times: “Although I am named as the recipient of this prestigious award, I accept it with all humility on behalf of my Commander in Chief, President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Secretary of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa, both of whom created the right framework for the final victory against the most brutal terrorist group in the world which had heaped so much grief and destruction on our motherland.

“I am also honoured to accept the Guci Peace Award on behalf of all the military forces, from the highest to the lowest ranks, who all played their part in bringing peace to Sri Lanka. In particular I want this award to commemorate all the military personnel who bravely laid down their lives for this noble cause”.
As Commander of the northern forces based in Jaffna, General Hathurusinghe–who possesses natural skills in interacting with people of every social strata–heads the military arm of a civilian-military partnership that is propelling this former stronghold of the Tamil Tigers (that saw so much death and devastation during the reign of the terrorist outfit) successfully onward and upward.
His astute military leadership, which has shown sensitivity to the needs and practicalities of a post-war Jaffna, is credited with providing the right atmosphere of peace and security for the economic boom that is being experienced in this dominant northern province.

This in turn is the key to successfully implementing–and driving–the government’s “Northern Spring” initiative aimed at bringing prosperity to this once battle-ridden region.
General Hathurusinghe’s nomination for the award from the Philippine end was somewhat propitious. In 2009-10 he attended a course that drew ranking military officers from all over the Asian-Pacific region to the Philippine National Defense College, and where he drew the attention of senior military offices in the Philippine military establishment themselves embroiled in the secessionist conflict in the Southern Philippines.
The Sri Lankan General took part in many private and official briefings with government and military officials to share his experiences and knowledge on the long drawn out separatist struggle with the Tamil Tigers.
Interestingly, his 30,000 world thesis detailing the manner in which the Sri Lankan security forces tackled the conflict won for General Hathurusinghe the sought-after Gold Medal at the end of the academic course that took place in Camp Aguinaldo.

General Hathurusinghe will be supported by a 14-member native dance troupe that will perform at the PICC ceremony, and also stage two other traditional Sri Lankan dance performances which have been organised by Sri Lankan Ambassador Nawalage Bennet Cooray and the Sri Lankan Embassy.
The dance troupe is sponsored by the Northern Provincial Council of Sri Lanka under the patronage of Chief Minister Berty Premalal Dissanayake who will head the Sri Lankan delegation to the Guci Peace Prize ceremony. It includes four other senior officials of the provincial council including the Secretary of Cultural Affairs.

Chief Minister Dissanayake presides over Sri Lanka’s North Central Province that is home to the famed UNESCO cited “Cultural Triangle” that contains Buddhist monuments and relics going back to over 2000 years – and where, shockingly, many internationally denounced atrocities were committed by the Tamil Tigers during their reign of terror in order to provoke the majority Buddhist community.
The presence at the ceremony of Chief Minister Dissanayake and the dance troupe from his region is a neat touch to display that Sri Lanka has turned the corner to a new era of tranquility, and also to showcase the country’s rich cultural heritage.

Random Jottings

 

Exhibition

Until December 15
City in Transit-Bangalore, an exhibition of art showcasing multimedia and other visual works capturing the dynamics of the city of Bangalore
Participating artists include Jayaram Suresh, M S Umesh, V G Venugopal and Madhu.
The multimedia show will have documentaries on Bangalore, video art projections, prints and photographs of the artist Surekha, Ravi Kashi, Cristoph Stroz, Madhu.D, Sunoj D, Venu V G, Shanthamani, Gautam Sonti and Usha.
Venue: Red Dot Gallery, 36 A, Baddagana Road South, Pitakotte
Time: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
December 5 Supiri Mal Dakma, an exhibition and sale of plants Venue: Viharamahadevi Park
Time: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Drama

December 10
Balloth Ekka Be, written and directed by Ravindra Ariyarathna
Venue: Elphinstone Theatre, Colombo 10
Time: 3:30 and 6:45 p.m.

December 10 - 12
Snow Knight and the Seven Chicks, the latest comedy of Indu Dharmasena
Venue: Lionel Wendt Theatre, Colombo 7
Time: 7:30 p.m.

Lecture

December 6
Islamic lecture (for males) on the topic Investment on Stocks, Shares and Bonds – An Islamic Perspective by Mufthi M H M Yoosuf (Abu Umar) immediately after Isha prayers
Venue: Majmaul Khairath Mosque, 30/1, Nimal Road, Colombo 4

 

Hope

Until December 19
Wasantha Namaskara’s 80th exhibition of paintings
Venue: Visual Art Gallery, Uva Provincial Council Library, Badulla

 

 

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