Chandana Wickramasinghe, born Sri Lankan, learned his first steps of dancing from Vajira Chithrasena at the age of six. He was then trained and given Ves by Kulasiri Budawatta. At the end of his school career, he chased his passion and joined the Sama Ballet Troupe as a dancer. Today, Chandana an acclaimed dancer and founder of the Dancers’ Guild, has bagged many local and international awards for outstanding choreography, rhythm, style and character.
Chandana and the Dancers’ Guild is committed to promoting traditional and fusion dance acts merging culture and contemporary music; displaying passion and imagination through stimulating movements and vibrant beats. Though a traditionally trained Kandyan dancer, Chandana has brought in innovations to the dance form, integrating it with modern beats, a bit of folk and a combination of classical and traditional interventions. Chandana is also the President of Santiniketan Friends’ affiliated office in Sri Lanka.
In Buddha Wandana, the Sri Lankan Dancers from the Dancers’ Guild depict the arrival of Buddhism from India with their stunning rhythm and movement. In this piece, the Ceylonese – the past name of Sri Lanka - and Indian History entwine as one where the traditional musical performances are concerned.
This dance was famous during the 11th to 13th century AD in the Bagan Era, renowned for promoting performance arts. It was invented by imitating the dancing style of Bagan people, found on the mural paintings of pagodas and temples in Bagan, using five musical instruments: brass instrument, string instrument, hide instrument, wind instrument and clappers. The dance portrays the young maidens dancing in the style of offering oil lamps to the Lord Buddha.Harp Solo
The Myanmar harp is a bow-shaped instrument of wood and deer hide and comprises of thirteen to sixteen strings of hand-twisted spun silk. The harpist will show his deft skill of playing harp solo.Myanmar Group Dance
Myanmar’s people’s friendly nature has been captured through this song-dance Mingalabar, which is a Burmese word for greetings.Court Dance
Myanmar’s traditional harp is a musical instrument much loved by Myanmar’s people. The harp has been used since the 11th Century of the Bagan period. In the performance, an attractive maiden acting as a celestial princess of heaven, accompanied by other dancers, will present this beautiful dance based on a Myanmar’s classical song.Duet Dance
Duet Dance is one of the Myanmar’s traditional dances which has been performed since first Innwa Era, 15th Century A.D. According to Myanmar’s chronicle, Keinnari and Kein Nara represent the symbol of auspiciousness and a kind of mythical bird with a human head torso.Royal Page Boy Dance (Marionette)
In the days of ancient Myanmar kings, the duty of royal page boys was to herald the entrance of the royalty and to check that every personnel had occupied his respective place. The cute movement of little royal page boys performing their duty is presented through this performance by the marionettes.
The mask Dance popularly known as Cham is a lively masked and costumed dance associated with some sects of Buddhism and Buddhist festivals. The dance is performed by Lamas (Monks) to the accompaniment of mystic music played by the monastic orchestra.
The original motive of this mask dance, also considered a form of meditation, is to symbolize the destruction of evil spirits and dramatize the illusoriness of life and to perform ritual offerings to deities of the monasteries and guardians of the faith. Mask dance is performed by wearing dresses made of brocade, silk costumes. the musical instrument used during the dances are the trumpet, cymbal, drum, bell, shell, flageolet etc.
The intent of the piece called Vajra, choreographed by Gilles Chuyen is to translate Buddhist knowledge, into movement: from imagery of the Buddha's enlightenment to philosophical aspects of Compassion and Emptiness, the choreography looks at desire on the spiritual path and at our innate ability to transform as quickly as lightning, dissolving in Oneness beyond dualities. The dance will be performed by five dancers led by Gilles to a mix of meditative soundscape with live bells and chants.
Phuntsho Luyang, a performing arts company was founded by ApDengo, one of Bhutan’s most popular and respected singers, who has performed ever since the reign of the third King of Bhutan. Phuntsho Luyang was founded with an objective to promote and preserve the age-old tradition of Bhutanese folk songs and mask dances through the active involvement of the Bhutanese youth.Dances to be performed Jeonpa Lekso (Welcome Song and Dance)
This folk song and dance is performed at the start of the festive occasion to welcome the honoured guests.Traditional Archery (National Game)
Traditional Archery is the national game of Bhutan. This dance is to depict the typical Bhutanese culture of relaxation and enjoyment where men play archery and women cheer them by dancing and offering local wine.Shawo Shachi (Dance of the Stag and Hound)
This dance is a dramatization of how the famous hunter Gonpo Dorji became remorseful and gave up hunting after listening to the compassionate singing of Milarepa, the Great Yogi of Snow Land while in deep mediation.Ringu La Zidha Layap Dance (A Traditional Dance)
Layap are the people who stay at a high altitude of around 3800 meters above the sea level. With their unique costume and culture, they perform dances that are mostly dedicated to the Country.NGAGING (Dance of the Ging with drums)
In the tantric Buddhist tradition of Bhutan, there are three kinds of wrathful dances performed by holding sticks (jooging), swords (driging), and drums (ngaging), with a view to subjugate the evil spirits who worked against the Dharma on this earth.