The University of Southampton Kandyan and Bharata Natyam Dance Society (SKBDS) is a student-run organisation established to introduce and uphold the beauty of Kandyan and Bharata Natyam to students from all backgrounds, by running events, classes, workshops and taster sessions. From this they can learn about the fundamental cultural practices of traditional dancing and its long-term benefits for the mind and body.
SKBDS held their first showcase for the University of Southampton on the 1st December 2014. It was an exciting event which saw the performance of eight dances, by a collective cohort of 9 dancers:
- Pooja Dance: A traditional Kandyan opening dance
- Bharata Natyam dance 'Yathumugi': Goddess Kaali, asking her to fulfil the wishes of the poet who sings to her
- Kandyan dance 'Rhythm of Drums': Dance act purely on traditional Kandyan drumming and hand movements descending from Kandy, Sri Lanka
- Bharata Natyam dance 'Mallari': Mallari depicts the procession of a deity and shows the victory of good over evil. It is set to Ragam Nattai and Talam Chaturashram Ekam
- Kandyan dance 'Dalu Mura': Dalu Mura is a traditional dance, often performed during rites
- Bharata Natyam dance 'Dheem ta Dare': In this dance, the dancers showcase the hand and footwork which play an important role in Bharata Natyam and include hand gestures of different Gods and instruments
- Fusion duet 'Mere Dholna Sun': The dancers performed a fusion of Kandyan and Bharata Natyam using the grace of Kandyan to match the song's melody and the intricate footwork of Bharata Natyam to match its fast beats
- Fusion dance 'Kannodu': A fusion of Kandyan and Bharata Natyam by the whole group was the finale of the showcase
Performers: Dilini Seneviratne (President of SKBDS), Nethmee Abey, Surendranie Cabral, Saritha Choudry, Naomi Keerthiratna, Ameeta Kumar, Aneeta Kumar, Dilini Peiris and Hasini Ranasinghe.
Sponsors of SKBDS were also invited to watch the dances and deliver speeches on their lines of work. They include Adam Gregory of the charity, U Support, working to better the lives of young people with life limiting conditions and disabilities, and Mahesh Bharrath of the Institute of Fine Arts, Southampton.
The event was a great success, and will no doubt be the first of many from SKBDS!
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