SLF Int’l Academy of Performing Arts held their Siraspath Palandaveeme Mangalyaya – 2022

On Saturday, December 10th, 2022, the Sri Lanka Foundation Academy of Performing Arts (SLF APA), founded in 2015 and Accredited in 2019, held its second inaugural graduation ceremony at the Mindfulness Meditation Center in Covina, California.

Senuri Pilana Manage, with her indomitable courage, effort, and commitment, became another successful graduate of Kandyan dance in our second Siraspath Palandaweeme Mangalya (Graduation) ceremony. She is a senior student who participates in online and in-person dance classes at the Academy of Performing Arts in Sri Lanka Foundation (SLF APA). She was exploring to gain knowledge and new experiences through her learning process.

Sri Lanka has a unique and rich traditional dance history of over 2500 years. Sri Lankan traditional dances offer worship, healing and meditation processes, sickness, and invoking blessings. Sri Lankan Traditional Dance graduation is called a “Kalaeli Mangalya.”

When a Kandyan dance student has been dancing for several years and has reached an advanced level in their techniques, they will take on the Kalaeli Mangalya Ceremony to showcase their capabilities to pioneers, teachers, family, friends, and well-wishers.

This traditional Sri Lankan Dance graduation is also called a “Pahimpath Mangalya.” It is typically considered a rite of passage for young dancers to perform their “Siraspatha.” It is often considered the debut dance of a new generation of tradition bearers that will teach the next generation.

The Ceremony began early Saturday morning, starting with the blessings of Buddha, celestial bodies, and deities. The graduate was adorned with a beautiful “Pahimpatha” given to her by her teacher, the ornate traditional headpiece made of bronze and matching jewelry. According to the customs of Pirith and Magul Bera, the teachers adorned the “Siraspatha” on her in front of Lord Buddha while inside the temple.

Then she was covered in a white cloth and taken around the Bodhi tree. She offered and worshiped the Buddha with a bouquet. Then, after looking at auspicious things and taking away any evil eye, she saw herself for the first time in a pot of clear water dressed in the traditional jewelry made especially for her.

Completing all the traditional customs, she arrived at the hippodrome (Ranga Bumiya) to showcase her talents through performance to the audience. She mesmerized the dignitaries and the audience with exquisite traditional dances such as Mangalam Dance, Yahan Mutti Padaya, and Waram Kavi dance. The graceful and astonishing performances were performed to the sounds of live traditional drums and songs, showcasing her keen knowledge of traditional rhythm.

The traditional ceremony continued when the dancer prayed for her parents, teachers, and drummers to thank them for all their love and support. Then she thanked to the SLF APA Staff, the Director of Cultural Affairs and Director of Operations of the Academy of Performing Arts, Achala Weerasinghe, External Lecturers of APA Nirosha Wijegunasekare and Akila Palipana, and the senior Dance Instructor of APA Umendra Kahadawaarachchi, for their guidance.

President/CEO of SLF, Dr. Dishan Jayasinha, and Mrs. Zuigly Jayasinha graced the occasion as the guests of honor, and the Chief Operating Officer, Shirani Stanislaus, Director of Project Management, Keshini Wijegoonaratna, Media Director, Chamodh Amarasighe attended the ceremony. Dr. Dishan in his opening remarks congratulated Senuri Pilana Manage and said he was very proud to witness her inspiring and memorable performance which showed her dedication and commitment to have mastered the skills to preserve the traditions and culture which is of utmost importance to him. Furthermore, he said the mission of the SLF Academy of Performing Arts is to continue to encourage and support other students to advance their skills and techniques to attain the highest level.

Achala Weerasinghe, Director of Cultural Affairs of SLF, Director of Operations for the Academy of Performing Arts delivered her speech and extended her utmost gratitude to the President/ CEO, Dr. Dishan Jayasinha for his fullest support to organize this ceremony. She also thanked the SLF Academy of Performing Arts and SLF staff, the graduate’s parents, and guests.

Senuri Pilana Manage, the graduate addressed the guests with a very inspiring and motivational speech, as she expressed, “my sincere gratitude goes to the ones who made my graduation possible, the Sri Lanka Foundation Chairman, Dr. Walter Jayasinghe, the President /CEO Dr. Dishan Jayasinha, SLF Academy of Performing Arts Staff, SLF Staff, your presence and guidance have always been inspirational for me, and I am immensely grateful for all the love, kindness, appreciation and guidance you all showered me to be a successful dancer. It feels great to have so much genuine support around me. Also, I thank my dear family and friends”.

The Ceremony ended with an invitation to all the guests to enjoy a traditional Sri Lankan meal.


Sri Lanka Day Expo & Parade, a virtual Global Celebration, was launched in the United States on the Sri Lanka Foundation International Virtual Platform on August 13th and 14th, 2022. This epic event introduced Sri Lanka’s historical heritage and culture, music, dance forms, and local food and products to a worldwide audience. All that and more while being entertained by breathtaking cultural performances, you can click on the videos below to watch the spectacular performances if you missed the event. 

Throughout the two-day festivities, mesmerizing dance and music performances included Sri Lankan traditional music, dances, art, and theatre staged from Sri Lanka, Australia, Canada, Chile, France, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, the U.K., and India. The performances were interspersed with a cultural fashion show with Sri Lankan models showcasing Sri Lankan outfits of different styles. 

Click on the links below to watch the Performances by the Sri Lanka Foundation Academy of Performing Arts, formed in 2015, the only Accredited Sri Lankan Traditional Performing Arts in the USA. Its mission is to preserve, support, celebrate and present to a wide range of audiences the culture, language, dance and arts of Sri Lanka through performances, workshops, educational outreach programs, and formal instruction. 

1) The Sri Lanka Day Theme Song dance performed by SLF Academy of Performing Arts Students is a message to all Sri Lankans to come together on this Sri Lanka Day to celebrate Sri Lankan culture and heritage. 

2)This performance depicts masculinity and female elegance smoothly tochzuning the unique classical theatrical effects of the Kandyan dance of Sri Lanka performed by SLF Academy of Performing Arts External Lecturers Nirosha Wijegunasekare and Akila Palipana. 

Stay tuned with us to watch more videos of the Amazing Cultural Performances next week!!!! 


On Sunday, August 13th, 2022 the final count down began while hundreds of people anxiously waiting started to log in to the SLF PLATFORM!!!!

The entrance to the Auditorium door opened and the guests were lead to the roof top in an elevator which was never witnessed in any virtual event before. The curtains rolled down, the lights went off in the Auditorium and the official ceremony began followed by the Global Cultural Program. The six hours Mesmerizing Cultural Performances from all over the world was viewed and enjoyed by many when some of the other Attendees were visiting and chatting with Vendors in the Exhibition Hall and the networking lounge was busy with people watching the Resourceful Video’s.

The attendees had the choice of deciding which segment of their interest and was able to enjoy it from the comfort of their homes. The event continued with excitement building up to win quiz prizes, raffle drawings given away by the Vendors when our amazing live Mc’s promoted enthusiasm and anticipation among the attendees to stay until the very end despite of the different time zones of countries.

The “Pageant of Lanka” was showcased to give a feel of the original Parade that is hosted on the World Famous Rose Parade Route on Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, USA.

We appreciate our Sponsors for their contributions to support the event as well as the Vendors showcasing over hundreds of products to the world audience. Our heartfelt gratitude goes to all the volunteers for their valuable time to assist in many different ways.

The event ended with a Big Bang by the band “HEAT” to entertain the attendees with some fascinating Sihala Baila.

Last but not least our heartfelt gratitude goes to our all of our Guests that joined us from all over the world!!!

SLF Academy of Performing Arts Performed at the 25th Anniversary of Getty Center Museum

Sri Lanka Foundation Academy of Performing Arts was privileged to put our mission into action once again with our hands held with Getty to preserve, support, celebrate and present to a wide range of audiences; the culture, language, dance, and arts of Sri Lanka through performing our heritage. 

Getty is a cultural and philanthropic institution dedicated to the presentation, conservation, and interpretation of the world’s artistic legacy; an ideal platform for Sri Lankan heritage to converse with international art and culture. What portent can be greater than a conversation in this nature?

The event was open to multiple and a diverse set of communities in celebration of Getty’s 25 years of service to the international sphere of art and culture where they showcased the cultural diversity of Los Angeles by creating a series of free outdoor community art festivals, cultural performances, workshops, food stalls and many other colorful and diversified cultural experiences. It was a wonderful celebration with music, art and culture brought together by a global community, giving the expression of a global village.

Set up in KoreaTown, Liberty Park, home to many people from around the world, the most diverse part of the city of Los Angeles; the 25th anniversary of Getty was indeed a festival of diversity. Getty, being a cultural institute that is dedicated to celebrating beauty in the form of art and culture, has opened their arms for APA to join and perform at the 25th anniversary celebrations. The invitation was extended by Getty’s Lead Producer Mr. Albert, giving APA the opportunity to receive a free booth to distribute our marketing materials and to conduct a workshop to add a little bit of essence of Sri Lankan culture to the event. 

The workshop was conducted by our senior students, Umendra Kahadawaracchi who is the talented dancing teacher at APA and the Director of Cultural Affairs, Achala Weerasinghe. The workshop was dedicated to celebrating the beauty of Sri Lankan traditional dancing which is a huge part of Sri Lankan cultural inheritance. Sri Lanka is home to many different styles of dances such as Udarata Natum, Pahatharata Natum and Sabaragamu Natum which can vary in their styles of movements and motions, the style of dressing and the type of drums used for performances, the workshop has given prominence to kandyan Dancing, which is beautiful and deserves to be celebrated world-wide. 

The workshop was very colorful and engaging which also did not fail to enlighten the audience about many hidden beauties in Sri Lanka such as Dalada Maligawa which is a place where all these cultural performances come together, once a year, as a devotion to Sri Lankan religious belief systems. 

The workshop was appreciated by many in the audience including the event producers and parents of the foreign children who were privileged enough to immerse themselves in the beauty of a very foreign country to them which is physically miles apart. Traditional drums were in the center of attention for many of those kids and were keen on joining APA classes to learn drums such as thammattama, yak beraya and geta beraya.

It was indeed a day full of celebrations and our heartfelt gratitude goes out to our Founder and Chairman of the Board, Dr. Walter Jayasinghe, Vice President of SLF Aeshea Jayasinghe, Chief Operating Officer / Corporate Secretary, Shirani Stanislaus, Director, Research & Development, Rodney Perera, and our Media Director, Chamodh Amarasinghe not only for creating such platforms for

cultural celebration but also for being a part of this event and giving us a helping hand and courage to keep reaching greater heights as a Sri Lankan community away from home. 

SLF International, USA pays gratitude to the Choreographers and Group Leaders in Sri Lanka

Every year, the Sri Lanka Foundation International USA works diligently to bring the sights, tastes, colors, and culture of Sri Lanka to the people through one of its most significant events, The “Sri Lanka Day Expo & Parade.”

The very first virtual Sri Lanka Day & Expo premiered in 2021. The Cultural show was the highlight of the entire event and it would not have been possible to make it the roaring success that it was if it were not for the choreographers and group leaders from Sri Lanka and around the globe. Their tremendous commitment and dedication made this event absolutely unforgettable and loved by a worldwide audience. SLF and its staff is humbled and profoundly gracious for all the hard work and efforts of every single one of those in the neighborhood to those half way across the world, Thank you.

On behalf of Sri Lanka Foundation International USA, Achala Weerasinghe, The Director of Cultural Affairs & The Director Of Operations at the Academy of Performing Arts, has personally met the group leaders and choreographers who collaborated that day during her visit to Sri Lanka. She conveyed her heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of them and also handed out certificates of recognition as a token of appreciation.

Some of the collaborators from Sri Lanka include: Sahan Ranwala – The Managing Director of Ranwala Foundation. Nirosha Wijegunasekare – The lecturer at the Department of Drama, Oriental Ballet and Modern Dance at University of the Visual and Performing Arts. Akila Palipana – Visiting lecturer at the University of Kelaniya. Shanika Marasinghe – Professional fashion designer. And the Akila Palipana Dance School.

Achala has also held successful meetings with the staff of the University of the Visual and Performing Arts Colombo She met with, the Vice-Chancellor Dr. Rohana P. Mahaliyanaarachchi, Dean of faculty of dance and drama Dr. Indika Ferdinando, and the lecturer Nirosha Wijegunasekare. She discussed exchange programs to further strengthen the relationships between the University and the Sri Lanka Foundation International.

She also met with Dulanga Gunaratna, the Senior lecturer and with Dhanushka Senevirathna, the Probationary lecturer, at the University of Kelaniya.

The meetings held with Dr Priyeshini Perera and her team at UBL (University Business Linkage) is promising to gear us up towards making industry linkages and connections within the performance industry.

Moreover, she discussed future collaborations with these dance schools and universities during her visit to Sri Lanka. Finally, she invited these dance groups to join hand in hand with Sri Lanka Foundation and work together on upcoming cultural events. We are excited to see where these new beginnings lead.

SLF Platform, One of a Kind, Never Seen Before!!!!!! Register Now










For more information contact:
Keshini Wijegoonaratna- 213-400-7705 or Achala Weerasinghe-213-400-1662

Video Attached! Sri Lanka Foundation Academy of Performing Arts reaches the uttermost success in the celebration of the virtual ‘Avurudu’ event…

With the dawn of April month, we all are in the festive mood to celebrate one of the significant festivals in Sri Lanka; the Sinhala and Tamil New year. Annually, at SLF Academy of Performing Arts we; educate our students with rich traditions, customs, and rituals intertwined with our Sri Lankan culture and thereby promote togetherness. However, students of our academy, could not take part in the ‘Avurudu’ program and celebration in their usual countenance due to the prevailing pandemic situation.

  Yet, we premiered our virtual ‘Avurudu’ event on 14th April fabulously. This even bridged the Sri Lankan community in LA as well as the Sri Lankans in our home country miles away. The event reached its uttermost success due to the great efforts taken by the instructors and the brilliant participation of the students, and the enthusiasm grown in the hearts of the students of our academy for the celebration of the new year.

  We initiated our program with the new year greetings from the founder of the Sri Lanka Foundation, Dr. Walter Jayasinha, the ambassador of SL for the USA,H.E Ravinatha Ariyasinha, the Consul General for LA Dr. Lalith Chandrasa and the president of SLF; Dr. Dishan Jayasinha, the Director of Operations of the academy: Achala Weerasinghe. The program was ended with a thank you note from the Vice President of the SLF; Aeshea Jayasinghe.

The program epitomized the beauty of the new year under different items showcased by the students as well as the instructors, Nirosha Wijegunasekare, Akila Palipana, Nalinda Dilupama, Lal Thilakarathna, Umendra Kahandawaarachchi and Kanishka Gomas.  

Students of PreK dance class – SLF Academy of performing Arts brilliantly performed for the song ‘Erabadu Mal pipila’ to show how nature beautifully gets dressed to celebrate the new year, the cry of the cuckoos and the ‘Erabadu’ trees draped in the crimson flowers. 

  Another vibrant item was showcased by our students mingling the sounds we hear during the ‘Avurudu’ season by compiling the folk singing and playing ‘Raban padha’. The items such as ‘Eluwan kaama’ and the dances showcased with the collaboration of the students of our academy from, the child, and intermediate classes, beginner and senior class, and the senior classes interpret the unity, togetherness and the strong bond shared between the students of our academy as much as the talent resided in them. The playing of the ‘Getabera’ and ‘Daula’ and the ‘Avurudu’ dance showcased by the instructors was heart-throbbing. 

The program was organized amidst so many difficulties such as in the preparation of the costumes, rehearsals conducted virtually, and many more. Thus, special gratitude should be paid to all our students who took part in the items, the instructors who guided them, and to all others who played different roles in making the event successful. 

Please click on the link below to watch the video:

Video Attached! Congratulations to SLF Academy of Performing Arts Students, Welcome to the New School Year 2021!

On Sunday, January 24th the Sri Lanka Foundation Academy of Performing Arts hosted another successful webinar to preset the certificates to the students who completed the Dance & Drumming classes in 2020, and after they enrolled for the New School Year to continue the virtual lessons.

Achala Weerasinghe, the Director of Operations welcomed everyone with a brief description of the school’s future goals to expand globally on virtual classroom sessions. Shirani Stanislaus,Chief Operating Officer introduced the new lectures, Nirosha Gunasekera from the Visual and Performing Arts University in Colombo, Akila Palipana, from the University of Kelaniya in Sri Lanka and the new instructors, Nalinda Dilupana, from the Behri Foundation Drums & Dance and Kanishka Gomas, the founding member and dance instructor at Behri Foundation of Dance & Drums.

The program continued with speeches from the current Academy of Performing instructors, Lal Thilakaratna and Umendra Khandawarachchi, who talked about the success of the virtual sessions and showed video clips of the students performances in 2020.

The new lecturers and the two new teachers also had the opportunity to present video’s of their experience and knowledge as well as addressed the audience to say how excited they are to be a part of the Academy.

Sri Lanka Foundation Vice President, Aeshea Jayasinghe inspired everyone from her speech by highlighting areas of importance of working together as a team to achieve success. Keshini Wijegoonaratna, the Director of Project Management & Public Relations, updated the Accreditation Self Study process and explained the credibility of the ACS WASC accrediting agency.

The founder of SLF, Dr Walter Jayasinghe thanked the SLF and the Academy staff for working diligently to bring the foundation to this level and addressed areas for expansion for the future.

The program ended with Achala Weerasinghe, the Director of Operations of the Academy, with a vote of special thanks to the SLF Media Director, Chamodh Amarasinghe for all his hard work by creating the graduation ceremony on a virtual platform, and also thanked everyone for attending.

See attached link to watch the video:

Meet our New Staff! SLF Academy of Performing Arts Open Enrollment for 2021

Open Enrollment Date January 24th, 2021!!!

10.00am to 12.00pm

Meet our new staff:

Nirosha Wijegunasekera,
Following MPhil Degree, University of Peradeniya
MA in Dance, University of Kalaniya
Bachelor of Arts in Visual & Performing Arts

Lecturer at the University of the Visual and performing Arts, Sri Lanka

Akila Palipana
BA. Degree, University of Kelaniya
MA. Undergraduate, University of Kelaniya
Visiting Lecturer at the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka

Nalinda Vithana
Behri Foundation of Drums and Dance

Kanishka D Muhandiramge Gomas
Founding Member & Dance Instructor at Behri Foundation of Drums and Dance.

Sri Lanka Foundation Academy of Performing Arts will continue to conduct virtual sessions on Google classroom settings for Dance & Drumming in the NEW SCHOOL YEAR STARTING IN JANUARY 2021.

The school achieved its Accreditation status in 2019 from the Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACS WASC) which is a world-renowned accrediting association. WASC is a voluntary dual-purpose process for schools to demonstrate that they provide high-quality learning and model continual self-improvement.

The classes consist of a well rounded curriculum to meet the needs of the Accreditation status as well as the lesson plans have been adjusted for the students to be able easily grasp the techniques online. The classes are taught by extremely qualified and experienced staff that has made a huge impact in the students learning to keep their focus on the online teaching. Quarterly assessments are conducted to monitor the progress of the student programs and its impact on student learning with respect to the ACS WASC criteria.

In 2022 the school will go through a self study program which will involve of all stakeholders during the process that will consist of a school-wide action plan to address and identify areas for improvement.

The enrollment application is available on the: and click on the Academy tab.

For more information call:
213-400-1662 or Email:
Achala Weerasinghe
Director of Cultural Affairs/SLF and Director of Operations, Academy of Performing Arts
Please click on the link below to register to join:

Video Attached! If you missed it, A successful Webinar Enlightened the audience hosted by the SLF Academy of Performing Arts

Sri Lanka Foundation Academy of Performing Arts presented its very first virtual webinar platform on Dance & Drumming lessons on November 8th, 2020 from 10.00am to 12.00pm to a large audience from around the world.

During these unprecedented times the attendees were amazed how the Academy of Performing Arts staff didn’t hesitate to immediately convert the curriculum and assessments to be conducted on a google classroom setting to ensure the students did not miss out on their weekly sessions. Even though some adjustments had to be made to the weekly lesson plans due to limitations of presenting our traditional movements and sounds on a zoom platform, the student’s enthusiasm and eagerness to learn was very evident.

After seven months of successful virtual teaching sessions and on going assessments the Academy of Performing Arts Staff was very proud to showcase what the students had achieved to the entire world that was very much appreciated by the audience.

The Director of Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools, Elizabeth Oberreiter was one of the Panelists that enlightened us with the importance of a school achieving Accreditation and also our special guests, Dr Indika Ferdinando, the Dean of the Faculty of Dance & Drama of the University of the Visual & Performing Arts, Colombo, Sri Lanka and the Honorable Ambassador H.E Rodney Perera, applauded the instructors of the Academy for a job well done. The staff of the Academy of Performing Arts highlighted the areas of Dance and other activities of the virtual sessions that has been taking place the last few months by presenting slides and video clips of their past performances.

Please click the link below to watch!