CULTURE MOVES BY NATANDA
The past. That’s what the performance given by Natanda, Sri Lanka’s first ever contemporary dance company founded by Kapila Palihawadana made the audience feel. The cruelty of slavery was felt and highlighted by the fourteen high level professional dancers and they indeed did not fail to give an extraordinary performance moving the audience along with them. All of this was preceded by a wonderful speech given by the host of the night, Dr. Francois Tessier and also the choreographer and founder of the Natanda Dance Theatre, Kapila Palihawadana who apprised the audience with the intent behind the intention of the creation of the event.
The event was held at the Bishop’s College Auditorium on the 19th of September 2018. The show, held in the evening was broken into two segments. The first segment of the evening, titled “Slavery”, (Wahala) used dance to bring out the emotions felt by the people who were trapped and deprived of basic liberties that people normally possess, through the horrid mechanism called slavery. The second segment of the evening was entitled “Vannam”, a recitation which mostly describes behaviours of animals. It is also a combination of melding drums, percussion, electro beats, rock and classical music with traditional sounds of cymbal and chanted versions, during which the music perfectly complimented the recitation which was brought to life by the colourful movements of the dancers performing the peacock dance.
Not only were the dances vibrant but the costumes that were designed for each number, themselves helped bring out the themes of the performances but also provided a visual spectacle to the audience. Music not only complimented the visuals provided by the dances and the costumes but also enticed the audience by building an atmosphere in the room. The various instruments and pieces blended together with everything and elevated the performances.
Moments of silence from the music was replaced by thudding of feet on the floor which not only complimented the surprise caused by the sudden lack of music but also built up tension among the audience.