A tutu and a willing heart | Sunday Observer

A tutu and a willing heart

Pix : Rukmal Gamage
Pix : Rukmal Gamage

A tiny tot of two sat mesmerised as graceful ballerinas, danced their hearts out in a swirling kaleidoscope jewel colours. At the end of the performance the far seeing mother, Parami, asked her little daughter whether she would like to learn ballet. An eager and enthusiastic yes was the reply from the star struck toddler. This was kismet for the tiny girl as it turned her life into a path of beauty and grace which was also very meaningful and emotional.

The mother then made another wise decision and took the would be ballerina to iconic Grande Dame of ballet in Sri Lanka, Deanna Jayasuriya. Who was not only a dancer but one who had perfect empathy with children and understood perfectly what made them tick. Her daughters, Natasha Jayasuriya and Natalie Jayasuriya, current Principal and Vice Principal of the school have inherited these same traits from their mother. So, little Kinaara Malawana had ideal teachers to guide her in the intricacies of ballet and she thrived under their teaching from her first little steps at the age of two and a half.

Says Natasha Jayasuriya:” Kinaara came to us when she was two and a half years .She is a very talented and beautiful dancer and it is a pleasure to teach her.She is also very intelligent and grasps things easily. I am very proud of her . She has been with us for so long she is family.”

Kinaara made her first appearance at a concert when she was three and a half years when she appeared in the well loved Nutcracker. She was a snowflake and was dressed in a white tutu.

She passed her very first exam in ballet, the Grade one examination of the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) with flying colours. In the Junior School her first solo was as a gypsy woman in ‘The Dream’She also danced the principal role of Peter in Peter and the Wolf. In the forthcoming production of the Deanna School of dancing Kinaara will dance as a gem and a flirtatious woman in the market place. In addition, she has danced many other roles.

Today, dancing is the breath of life for this 15 year old dancer. Dancing is not only movement and music it also has to be disciplined. Kinaara has understood this and is a disciplined dancer as well as being a dancer who is the epitome of rhytm and grace.

Her discipline came through as she did her warm ups before dancing for us and then in her supple movements as she danced before us. Even though her dancing for us was limited it was a delight to watch this rhythmic and graceful dancer as light as thistledown.

Much of Kinaara’s time away from school is devoted to ballet. Currently, because of the approaching concert she spends all her afternoons and evenings at the school.

Kinaara’s sacrifices and efforts became well worthwhile when she topped her batch at the Grade 7 and Intermediate Foundation examination of the Royal Academy of Dance.

This year she will sit the Intermediate Examination of the RAD. This talented young dancer has given up many things including badminton ,rowingand singing with the ‘Soul Sounds ‘ for the sake of her passion- ballet.

As a ballerina Kinaara is conscious of what she eats and ensures that her diet has less carbohydrates and plenty of proteins.

Swimming plays an important part in Kinaara’s life and she swims as much as she can. “Swimming makes you elongated and it is very good for your legs” said Kinaara. Dancing on points is very stressful and your toes get stiff. Swimming relaxes them .”

Kinaara also finds yoga helpful in her dancing as it teaches her flexibility. She attends yoga sessions with her father ,Viraj.

This young dancer is very grateful to her teachers and mentors at the Deanna School of dancing for all their support. “There is so much to learn from Miss Deanna and it is lovely working with Miss Natasha, , Miss Natalie Miss Karin, Miss Stephanie and all other assistant teachers.

She also appreciates the encouragement given by her friends at the school – they keep telling me to stretch and give other advice as well.

According to Kinaara the support she receives from her parents Parami and Viraj is immeasurable and she really values the constructive criticism she receives from her 13 –year- old sister , Chenaaya who is also a student of ballet.

Her favourite ballet is Swan Lake and she loves the fluid movements, the emotions evoked and the beautiful music.

Kinaara is currently studying for her O/L s at Musaeus College, Colombo. She hopes to do degrees in two vastly different fields , ballet and finance. She hopes to pursue a career in ballet and is currently an Assistant teacher at the Deanna School of Dancing.

Her interest in finance is inspired by father Viraj, an investment bankerand an entrepreneurhimself. She is also studying drama and has sat for both Trinity College and Royal College Examinations. Kinaara says that acting helps her with her expression and portrayal of characters in ballet.

A much travelled young lady Kinaara speaks with great nostalgia of her trip to Salzburg, Austria. Here, as a surprise,she was taken to see the great ballet ‘Swan Lake’ by her parents.

Kinaara hopes to be able to study in England as this will also expose her more to ballet, music and culture.

She is very musical and loves to sing and she plays the violin. Celine Dion and Whitney Houston are her top of the pops.

Managing her time is very difficult says Kinaara but she manages to balance studies and ballet she says.

She loves peaceful places and likes to go to such places which are also very green. Sigiriya is a hot favourite with her.

Kinaara is sure to dance her way right to the top and we wish her all the very best.