Reaching for the stars | Sunday Observer

Reaching for the stars

Last week the Youth Observer spoke to a leading danseuse, Aseka, and today we introduce three more dancers of the Channa- Upuli Performing Arts Foundation. For them it is a following of their passion at the Foundation and they find it very fulfilling and have found ideal role models in Channa Wijewardene and Upuli Pani Bharatha Wijewardene.

Kavindya Dilukshi Nilgiria

Kavindya Dilukshi Nilgiria, a pretty, lissome lass is following her passion for dancing for the past twelve years at the Channa-Upuli performing Arts Foundation. She was enamoured of dance from a very young age and the dance items by the Channa-Upuli Performing Arts Foundation telecast over various TV channels inspired her and was the catalyst to set her feet dancing.

She had earlier danced in school concerts and was therefore no stranger to the stage and audiences.

Kavindya said that when it comes to the steps and movements there is a strong connection between body and mind. Each movement expresses feelings and that dancers always try to keep to the correct postures and movements. According to her the maximum of the Foundation is, ‘give audiences something memorable that they can recall with happiness afterwards.

She also stressed that there is a correct way to every posture and the correct way of doing things will keep you healthy and safe. She stressed that this was very important. The dancers at the Foundation exercise daily for five hours according to Kavindya.

This striking dancer said that as full time professional dancer that a doing any other job or even a part time job was inconceivable.

Kavindya said that they needed freedom to perform well and that at the Foundation they have it.

She said that they improve day by day at the Foundation and foreign audiences show great and enthusiastic responses to their dances.

,Dulanjali Devduni Chamindi

For Devduni being at the Channa –Upuli Performing Arts Foundation is a dream come true. She joined the Foundation at the tender age of five and a half years though the regular age of recruitment is 14 years. Devduni was lucky to be admitted at the age of five. She says that her mother had told her that she had loved dancing even as a very small child.

She feels that the Channa –Upuli performing Arts Foundation is the best place for her to hone her talents in dancing as well as for other aspiring students.

She says since joining the Foundation her passion has grown in leaps and bound and her dancing is reaching greater heights.

Dedication is a must in dancing insists Devduni and there has to be disciplined training of mind and body.Exercis e and the correct diet is also essential for a dancer to be fit and strong to dance the beautiful dances of our land.

Devduni says that travelling abroad and performing before various audiences is a great experience and that such international exposure has encouraged her to improve herself in many ways. Improvement has to come from within oneself says this dedicated dancer.

She says that dancing has made her an outstanding personality and she gets good vibes from people whenever she goes out.

Shamitha Hettige

Shamitha has been dancing for twenty two years, having joined the Channa-Upuli Performing Arts Foundation at the age of nine years.

Initially, Shamitha had no inclination to pursue a carre in dancing. His father, a good friend of Channa Wijewardene had brought Shamitha and his twin brother to the Foundation. But once he started learning he realised the depth in the rich, traditional Sri Lankan dances and became a devotee of dance. His role models are naturally the Founders of the Academy, Channa and Upuli.

Shamitha too agrees with Devduni that improvement as a dancer must come within one’s inner self. It is is a divine thing says Shamitha.

The intricate movements are like meditation and defies explanation says this lithe and strong dancer. They differ from one another and person to person. For instance, with my knowledge and what comes instinctively within me I make movments whic are unquely mine. A show’s atmosphere, the stage and the audience also have a influence on our movements.

Dancing is more than a profession for me, it is a passion says Shamitha. Dancing is healing for me when people applaud us appreciatively.

It makes me very happy to know that I have made others happy by giving them something memorable to make them happy. We as dancers are also strengthened by the energy and good vibes we get from nature. This should be very important to each and every dancer.

We wish these young dancers all the best in their dancing careers.

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