People are his inspiration | Sunday Observer

People are his inspiration

We are different and we want to maintain our identity and mostly we try to promote our culture and traditional dancing styles in Sri Lanka

Ranga Gamage is a prominent dance personality, having performed in leading events in the country. He has travelled to many parts with his dance troupe promoting Sri Lanka’s culture.

Dancing has always been his passion. This year he will be travelling to France to showcase the vibrant culture of Sri Lanka. Through his dance, he hopes to travel to many countries as possible.

Ranga speaks to Youth Observer about dance, travel and going global.

Q: What made you get into dancing?

I entered the reality show Sirasa Dancing Star for this, I came with a team to Colombo to participate in the group category. During those days, we did not have anyone to help us. Unfortunately, we had to give up the competition because we couldn’t find a place to accommodate or to practice.

The other members who came with me returned but I wanted to be here in Colombo so I made a decision to stay. During those days, I had to go through many difficult experiences. Even though I have a bitter history, I am happy in who I am now and what I have achieved. During those days, when I was in Colombo I worked under many professionals in dancing and I specialised in many dancing styles. I was a freelance dancer for many years and I was getting much experience through many professional dancers. My dance instructor master Vijaya, he was my first dance teacher who guided me to this level.

Q: You have worked with some of the prominent organisations and companies?

We have performed in a lot of cooperate events for companies likes S-Lon, Dinapala, Huawei, Singer and many more. So, we facilitate them to make various events such as product launches, award ceremonies and gatherings more colourful. We also perform at events organised by many cooperates, ministries and companies.

Q: Tell us about your dance studio and students?

My Dance studio is Ranga Gamage Dance Studio. It is located in Kottawa. There we have located our office, Dance practice studio, costume designing centre. We also we conduct dancing classes there. We conduct traditional dancing classes, freestyle dancing classes, Zumba classes, Yoga and Ballet classes. Our daily rehearsals to take place at our dance studio. For students who come here for dancing classes, we provide a very friendly environment.

I have actually taught a large number of students, both kids and youngsters. When I talk about the students who are with me, now we have trained them well and we have made them well qualified in all the styles. In my opinion, a dancer should be a multi-talented person in all the styles so, what I can say is that we produce students with such talent.

Q: How different are you from the other dance troupes?

My dancers and I have different ways and we learn new steps every day. We do not intend to copy any acts done by other dance troupes, international level competitions or acts done by other professionals. We mostly promote the traditional dancing culture in Sri Lanka. I always think copying is not the thing. What we have to do as dancers is to take our dancing into the international level. When you keep copying some act, it doesn’t make your create identity.

We are different and we want to maintain our identity and mostly we try to promote our culture and traditional dancing styles in Sri Lanka. One main thing I want to mention before I forget is that we have won the trust of Sri Lankan Event Organisers and International level organisers because of our uniqueness. Most of the Bollywood actors and actresses who come to Sri Lanka for different performances choreograph their items through our dance studio.

Q: What inspires your work?

People inspire me to be at this level. The strength for me to be here at this level is my wife Nishadi Gamage. She is my inspiration. I should say she was the one who was with me during my good times and bad times. I should always be thankful to her for guiding my path and for staying by my side always. Also, I should mention about Roshan Dodangoda, Prem Gamage, Sudarma Hettiarachchi who have been with me and help me a lot.

Q: Tell us about your upcoming concert in France?

It’s going to be something different, it combines dancing and drama together. This is the first time in France that they have organised this sort of an event. We are doing our regular practices for the event and we are trying to do a big change from the things we have done so far. I will give you more information regarding the show soon.

Q: How often do you travel in a year?

When it comes to tours we mostly don’t aim for many but normally twice or thrice a year we visit other countries for different performances. In 2017 and 2018 during the month of December we were in South Africa. There we visited many countries like Mozambique, Zambia, Malawi and many more. For that, we took some top models in Sri Lanka with us to represent the Sri Lankan culture on a different scale.