Kandyan dancing is a traditional dance native to the city of Kandy in the beautiful island of Sri Lanka. We Angelenos usually see Kandyan dancing at Sri Lanka Day or at various Sri Lankan events. Kandyan dance is one of three national dances of Sri Lanka. It is a centuries-old tradition also referred to as Udarata Natum, or “up country dance.” It is characterized by intricate footwork and flowing arms accentuated by the jingle of the “silambu” on dancers’ ankles. Mastering Kandyan dancing takes time and dedication.
For the first time in California, Sri Lanka Foundation Performing Arts Center will be performing a Pahim Path Mangalya and Graduation Ceremony this December. “Rangabhisheka 2017” is the Sinhalese phrase for a stage performance given by students after years of training. It is the rite of passage for all Kandyan dancers. A day to showcase their talents, in a sense, a Graduation Ceremony. After this performance, dancers are considered professional Kandyan dancers, thus becoming the teachers of the next generation of Kandyan dancers.
The two day event will begin with a religious ceremony at the Sri Rathana Vihara in Anaheim, where the dancer’s mother adorns them with an ornate headdress the “Pahim path” followed by showcasing their talents. The next day Rangabhisheka 2017 Graduation and Cultural Show will be held at the Rosemead Auditorium in the beautiful city of Rosemead.
Sri Lanka Foundation Performing Arts Center offers free dancing and drumming classes. Classes are focused on acquiring stage performance skills incorporating several drumming and dance styles including Kandyan Dance, Low-Country dance, Sabaragamuwa dance, folk dance and fusion dance styles.