Traditional Dances of Sri Lanka

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The traditional Sri Lankan dances are quite dynamic and energetic. Facemasks  form an important tradition in Sri Lankan dance culture. Probably some of  the best examples of the traditional masks can be seen at the museum in Colombo.

Here are some photographs of the various dances….

Blowing of the Conch-shell and The Drum Orchestra

Traditional welcome. The orchestra has five traditional instruments (Pancha Thuryas) usually played three times a day at The Temple of Tooth    Relic
Pooja Dance

A dance paying homage to the Guardian Deities and to The Guru (Teacher of Dances)
Panteru Netum

The name of the dance is derived from the instrument used….Panteru, which is similar to the Tambourine. The rhythm is provided by the accompanying drums.
Cobra Dance

Depicts the movements of the cobra, and taming of it by a snake charmer.
Mask Dance

Low country (South Sri Lanka) dance showing the killing  of a cobra by The Gurula, a bird. This dance is usually performed to drive away evil spirits. To this day this dance is considered as part of psychiatric treatment!!! 
Mayura Vannama

This dance belongs to the Kandyan Vannam Traditions. It shows the graceful movement and the ways of a peacock
Raban Dance

This comprises of rhythmic dance patterns woven into the beat of single faced drum, which is skillfully spun in the air and balanced in a group of several drums. Also accompanied by singing ballads.
Ves Dance

Ves is the traditional attire of Kandyan dancer, 64 ornaments completes the dress. It takes several years of rigorous training before a dancer can attain the status of Ves dancer.
Fire Dance

Shows the power over fire and the charms of trouble making devils
Fire Walking

The performer gets into a trance and walks over burning red hot coals. They normally seek blessings of Goddess Pattin, prior to performing his ritual of walking on burning coal

Blowing of Conch and Drum Orchestra

Author: Dr K.B. Mallya- Canada

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