Traditional Dances

Traditional Dances


Concept of dancing in Sri Lanka starts with Kohombakankariya in 4th century   B.C. during the period of pandukabhaya. people used dancing in retails, to get rid of natural disasters, sickness �etc. during Anuradhapura period also there had been dancing as Mahavamsa
(The great chronicle of Sri Lanka) speak of procession of the tooth relic


In Sri Lanka, the traditional and the modern, the old and the new in theatre can be seen in striking conjunction. Based in Colombo, the capital city, there is a burgeoning, cosmopolitan, modern theatre, which presents original works and translations (of Beckett, Gogol, Gorky, in a wide range of forms and styles. In the rural areas, age-old ritualistic theatres are performed to promote the welfare of the community and to heal the sick. In between are various folk theatres – the entertainments springing from a predominantly agricultural way of life. And, as in all modernizing societies, many of the older forms are waning away while the new theatre is flowering.


The ritual theatres


The ritual theatres of Sri Lanka are among the oldest extant performances with an unbroken history. Legend traces their beginnings to pre-Buddhist times. However remote their origins, it is quite clear that the ritual theatres, like all living art forms, have been changing over the years, discarding some elements and absorbing others. As practiced today, ritual theatres, are generally nightlong performances addressed to the numerous deities and demons of the folk religion.


A vast pantheon of gods and demons inhabits the still vital world of Sinhala folk belief. Depending on time and circumstances, and their particular spheres of influence, these powerful beings can impinge in various ways on the affairs of men. For example, gods can assure a plentiful harvest and bring succor to people in times to people in times of distress. The demons, on the other hand, are evil in their effects: they possess people, making them ill.

Read more

 GAMMADUWA (Please click on each photograph to read the articles-You may need Sinhala fonts to read the article)