Kandyan Dancers - come dance to our beat

P.D. PadmasiriStarred Page By P.D. Padmasiri, 26th Aug 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/912uk0sb/
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Asia>Sri Lanka>Colombo & Around

Kandyan dancing and drumming is what Sri Lanka is best known for all over the world. This art form originates as part of a night-long ceremony and the art flourished under the Kings as a sign of prestige and entertainment. All genres of dance are accompanied by drumming which can reach extraordinary heights of virtuosity.

Kandyan dancing and drumming

Kandyan dancing and drumming is what Sri Lanka is known all over the world for. Dressed up in glittering costume and equally performing acrobatic moves, choreographed to stunning detail, Kandynan dancers are required to train for years to be perfect. With 50 dancers and 10 drummers featuring in elaborate rituals, the art form originates as part of a night-long ceremony in honor of the 'God Kohomba'. This type of dance form flourished under the Kings as a sign of prestige and entertainment has later on given birth to the Kandy Esala Perahera.

Main types of Kandyan dancing

There are four genres of Kandyan dance and principal genres are namely, ves, pantheru, udekki and nalyandi, all featuring troupes of flamboyantly attired male dancers clad in metallic chest plates, waistbands and also various other neck, arm and leg ornaments which jangle as the dancers move about where each dance calls for a slightly different style of dress) Among the most spectacular and famous type of dance is the 'Ves', dedicated to God Kohomba for which performers also wear a kind of extravagant metal head dress. Rather back breaking and acutely athletic, this special dance in its peculiar style, portrays devilish whirl, mind-bending back-flips an major kicking leaps. The turbaned performers, in the more subtle 'Pantheru' dance, play small tambourines whilst they beat tiny hour-glass shaped drums during the 'Udekki' dance.

'Vannam' - final dance

'Vannam' is the final dance that began as life songs before evolving into rigorous and more stylized dances, each of which carry a certain emotion or object of nature, historical event or legend.

Accompaniment of drumming

All genres of dance are accompanied by drumming which can reach extraordinary heights of virtuosity. Among the special drums, the archetypal Sri Lankan drum is the 'Geta Bera' or 'Boss drum', a double-headed instrument carried on a strap around the drummers' waist played with the hands. Made to a fixed length of 67cm which different types of skins tied at the ends, 'Geta Bera' produce contrasting sounds.

'Daula' and 'Thammettan Bera'

The 'Daula' drum, double-headed and shorter but thicker, is played with a stick in one hand and palm of the other. The 'Thammettan bera', its tiny drums, a bit like bongos tied together and played with sticks.

Horanewa

You will surely relive your happiness in a bliss of solitude and virtuosity in Sri Lankan style, when you listen to a 'Horanewa', a kind of Sri Lankan oboe which also accompany with these musical instruments.

Tags

Dance, Dance Music, Dancer, Dancers, Dresses, Instruments, Kandy, Religious, Religious Points Of View, Ritual Importance, Rituals

Meet the author

author avatar P.D. Padmasiri
I am from Weedagama, Bandaragama, SRI LANKA, HR Manager by profession and have 17 years of experience in my chosen field. I am interested in writing on Buddhism, Spiritual advancement, Nature etc.

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Comments

author avatar Denise O
27th Aug 2011 (#)

Great information on Kandyan dancing. Just a lovely presentation also. Congrats on the star page, it is well deserved. Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar P.D. Padmasiri
27th Aug 2011 (#)

Thanks alot Dear Denise, for all encouraging comments and also your interest to explore more about aged-old rituals, traditional dances etc. Best regards and Good Luck,

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author avatar Buzz
27th Aug 2011 (#)

I feel like dancing! Congrats on the star page, PD.

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author avatar P.D. Padmasiri
27th Aug 2011 (#)

Hi Buzz, Thank you very much for comments. Just come here to dance with us. Many thanks once again and good luck.......

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author avatar Maria Malone
27th Aug 2011 (#)

What a lovely article and pictures on such awesome dancing, congrats on the well deserved star page!!

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author avatar P.D. Padmasiri
28th Aug 2011 (#)

Thanks alot for encouraging comments and your inspiring remarks on Kandyan Dancers.Best regards Maria

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author avatar Tim Crosswell
28th Aug 2011 (#)

After reading the article I searched it on you. Its awesome. Lovely articles. Cheers.

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author avatar P.D. Padmasiri
28th Aug 2011 (#)

Thank you very much for ever encouraging and inspiring remarks and also for your interest to know much about traditional and historical events in Sri Lanka. Best regards Aaditya

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author avatar Delicia Powers
29th Aug 2011 (#)

Lovely, thank you P.D.;)

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author avatar P.D. Padmasiri
30th Aug 2011 (#)

Thank you very much Delicia your comments are very much appreciated. Best regards

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author avatar Sheila Newton
29th Aug 2011 (#)

Fabulous, foot-tapping stuff. Great.

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author avatar P.D. Padmasiri
30th Aug 2011 (#)

Thanks alot Sheila, for supportive remarks and best regards

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
30th Aug 2011 (#)

Beautiful photographs along with a marvelous written explanation, P. D. Congratulations on a well-deserved star page. I felt very alive reading this. Thank you.

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author avatar P.D. Padmasiri
30th Aug 2011 (#)

Many thanks to you Steve for all your comments which I like to listen everyday. Best regards Steve

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author avatar Nirmani
13th May 2014 (#)

thanks

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