The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Bangkok together with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau hosted the professional cultural troupe of the Sri Lanka Army to an evening of Sri Lankan dancing and drumming – ‘Waves of Rhythm’ or ‘Thala Tharanga,’ on 19 January at the Thammasat Association Auditorium in Bangkok, Thailand.
The Sri Lanka Army cultural troupe led by Cpt. Ajith Ruwanpura, comprising seven performers – Anushi Erandika, Nisansala Dilhani, Preethi Viraj, Udaya Kumara, Lasantha Kumara, Malka Dileshi and Dilini Erandika – demonstrated vibrant and colourful dances based on the traditional Kandyan (up country), low country dance forms, drum beats and traditional vocals and melodies.
Welcoming the gathering Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Thailand Samantha K. Jayasuriya said that according to the historical records, Sri Lankan dancing and drumming has been practiced at least for 800 years.
There had been approximately 35 types of drums used in Sri Lanka, and the ‘Waves of Rhythm’ performances included the traditional ceremonial drums called ‘Hevisi’, which is used in the Temple of the Scared Tooth Relic, two popular ‘Wannams’- depicting the majestic movements of the Elephant, called ‘Gajaga Wannama’, and the flamboyant characters of the peacock, called the ‘Mayura Wannama’.
Displaying the acrobatic prowess and vibrancy, the performers brought to the stage the traditional dance forms ‘Ves’, and the costumes depict the god of Sun, and ‘Thelme’, is a pure classical and rhythmical dance from the low country, entertaining the audience. Invoking the blessings of the Triple Gem and the benevolent spirits over the audience, the cosmic performance ‘Salu Palia’ – a low country ritualistic dance form engaged the entire audience. The culmination of the event was the drum orchestration that showcased the skills of the performers on five main types of drums along with the bells and flutes.
The event was attended by the diplomatic corps in Bangkok, media, well-wishers, university students, Thai and Sri Lankan community where they were able to get some insight of Sri Lanka as a ‘must visit’ travel destination.
Videos on Sri Lankan popular travel destinations and hotels were played during the event and brochures from Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) were distributed to raise awareness on Sri Lanka. The participants also joined for a reception that gave a taste of Sri Lanka with its world famous Ceylon Tea and Sri Lankan snacks.